2020 Volkswagen Golf Spotted at German McDonalds?

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Despite the 2020 Volkswagen Golf arriving later this year, VW hasn’t done much to tease it. In fact, the only glimpses we’ve had of it were of the Sasquatch variety — unconfirmed, low-resolution images taken in the wild before the elusive creature vanishes.

There’s now another one. Last week, Instagram user johannes.vag captured a couple of photos of what appears to be a black 8th-generation Golf stopping at a McDonald’s drive-thru in Germany.

While it could be a fake, we’ve seen videos of a similar-looking model crop up in South Africa. That, in addition to the Mk8 Golf’s June assembly date and a few preliminary sketches from the automaker, gives us reason to believe this is probably the real deal and not a tasteful aftermarket job.

The size and shape of the snapped model would appear to make the 2020 Golf slightly larger than its predecessors, while the slimmer headlamps match VW’s newer models. Most of the model’s signature visuals remain intact. Volkswagen isn’t the kind of brand to embrace aggressive new styling choices, so we weren’t expecting anything too different.

Thus far, Volkswagen is only willing to confirm that the Mk8 Golf will arrive on a different platform (possibly MLB Evo) featuring updated connectivity features and a heavier focus on tech than past incarnations. “[The Golf will] not only feature all those proven characteristics loved and cherished by customers but will, in addition, be fully connected. You could say that the new Golf opens the door on the digital world of Volkswagen,” the manufacturer said earlier this month.

However, industry leaks hint at attempts to improve interior volume. Based on the photos, it also looks to have a longer wheelbase and lower ride height. Add in the claimed weight savings of around 100 pounds across trims vs the 7th-gen car and performance enthusiasts should be sated.

Engine options are expected to be a 1.0-liter inline-three as the base overseas option, a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder motor as the North American base, and a 2.0-liter turbo four in the GTI with a rumored output of around 250 hp. The Golf R could receive a 3.0-liter V6 making around 360 hp — though we’ve heard rumors of up to 400 hp and even a widebody variant. If the rumors are to be believed, it would be the first such engine since the model’s VR6 days of the late 1990s. Frankly, we’re betting on a greased-up four cylinder with more boost being the R’s mainstay powerplant after 2020 if those MLB platform rumors turn out to be bunk.

Each version of the Golf is also said to come equipped with a 48-volt mild hybrid system and the potential for an all-wheel drive option (at some point).

Volkswagen will likely confirm or deny all of this later this year, probably before the Frankfurt Motor Show this fall. As previously stated, European assembly is scheduled for June with deliveries occurring a short time later. North America will probably see its first 2020 Golf early next year.

[Images: johannes.vag/ Instagram]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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3 of 21 comments
  • Audios Audios on Jan 22, 2019

    Some questionable claims in this piece. Other commentators are correct--MLB Evo is a longitudinal platform, the Golf is a transverse-engine car. A V6? And 48-volt mild hybrid? It's difficult to believe every variant will get the latter unless mass production eventually makes these systems cost-effective for economy cars. Also, if this is a photo of the real deal (and the different door handles might lend some credibility here), then VW styling seems to have regressed. The rear three-quarters looks more like a Mark VI.

  • Garrett Garrett on Jan 22, 2019

    So the MkIV remains the high water mark for the Golf. Sad!

    • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Jan 23, 2019

      In styling and interior feel, yes. As for long-term reliability, and durability of that interior?! Nope!

  • Steve Biro I don’t care what brand but it needs to be a compact two-door with an ICE, traditional parallel hybrid or both. A manual transmission option would be nice but I don’t expect it - especially with a hybrid. Don’t show me an EV.
  • ToolGuy Lose a couple of cylinders, put the rest in a straight line and add a couple of turbos. Trust me.
  • ToolGuy Got no money for the Tasman, it is going to the Taxman. 🙁
  • ToolGuy They should have hired some Ford Motor Company employees. No, I'm kidding -- they should have hired some Ford Motor Company executives. 😉
  • 1995 SC That KIA truck is the ugliest truck I've ever seen