2018 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTI: THE ORIGINAL HOT HATCH RAISES THE BAR WITH POWER, STYLING ENHANCEMENTS
Standard turbocharged TSI® engine increased to 220 horsepower
•Reworked lineup adds value to every trim level
•New available LED headlights bring distinctive look to SE and Autobahn trims
•Brakes from Golf R and electronically-controlled torque-sensing limited-slip differential standard on SE and Autobahn trims
•Driver assistance features made standard on SE and Autobahn trims
•Six-year or 72,000-mile 'bumper-to-bumper' limited warranty beats its competitors' bumper to bumper coverage in years and mileage
•Start-Stop System for fuel savings available on DSG®-equipped models
Herndon, VA (November 7, 2017) –
The car that defined the term 'hot hatch' embodies a classic formula: refinement, style, power, and playful performance. In 2018 the Golf GTI returns wîth a host of enhancements that continue the tradition of affordable performance it has built since its Ú.S. debut in 1983. The GTI has been awarded more than a dozen awards since its redesign for the 2015 model year, and in 2018 it only gets better.New for 2018
The 2018 Golf GTI is available in three trims—S, SE and Autobahn. All models now come wîth 220 horsepower standard (achieved wîth premium fuel), a 10-horsepower increase from previous years, and larger touchscreen infotainment displays. Every Golf GTI features LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) and taillights, wîth LED headlights standard on SE and Autobahn trims.
SE and Autobahn trims also include the brakes from the Golf R and an electronically controlled, torque sensing, limited-slip VAQ differential. Infotainment systems receive larger screens throughout the range, and SE models now include a sunroof as standard equipment.
Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking wîth Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist) is now standard on SE and Autobahn trims (Pedestrian Monitoring has late availability on SE trim). Autobahn models also offer standard Park Distance Control (ParkPilot), upgraded for 2018 wîth a new Maneuver Braking feature (late availability), Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist), Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist), and High Beam Control (Light Assist). When activated, this latter feature automatically turns on the high beams above 40 mph, if it detects that there is a low likelihood of dazzling oncoming traffic.
For the 2018 model year, Volkswagen Golf GTI models in the Únited States will come wîth the People First Warranty, a six-year or 72,000-mile (whichever occurs first) bumper-to-bumper New Vehicle Limited Warranty, which can be transferred to subsequent owners throughout its duration.
Pricing for the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI wîth a standard six-speed manual transmission starts at $26,415. The six-speed DSG® automatic transmission wîth Tiptronic® starts at $27,515. The destination charge for all Golf GTI models is an additional $850.Exterior
The seventh-generation car is wrapped in sheet metal that is modern, yet equally unmistakable as a Volkswagen Golf GTI. The shape and design elements remain as defined as ever, wîth a distinctive C-pillar, roofline framing, and classic Golf GTI side windows, but the striking new front end and steeply sloped hood leave no doubt this is different from previous generations.
For 2018, the look gains new sharpness wîth standard LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) and, on SE and Autobahn models, LED headlights wîth the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS). A bright-red horizontal strip visually connects the headlights to a revised grille and bumper. Those reworked fascias carry a strong character line that travels along the side and all the way back to the taillight clusters, only breaking for the wheelarches. Just above, another body line can be traced from the rear side window all the way back up to the headlights. These subtle body lines help create a poised yet elegant appearance.
In addition to the red horizontal highlight on the grille, the 2018 Golf GTI has several other visual differences from its conventional Golf brethren. The lower front fascia incorporates standard LED fog lights housed within a series of horizontal strakes on either side of a unique mesh pattern grille. Red-painted brake calipers peek behind bespoke GTI wheels and subtle side skirts help to give the GTI a more planted appearance. Around back, bright exhaust tips sit on either side of a unique rear diffuser, while a roof spoiler and LED taillights further differentiate the car.
The Golf GTI has a lower visual center of gravity and a more dynamic stance than the regular Golf, thanks to a sport suspension that lowers the car by 0.6 inches. The Golf GTI is equipped wîth large 18-inch 'Austin' wheels as standard equipment, wrapped in standard all-season or optional 225/40 summer performance tires. SE Autobahn trims feature a new 18-inch 'Dallas' wheel design.
Automatic rain-sensing windshield wipers along wîth automatic headlights are now standard across the lineup. A panoramic power tilt and slide sunroof is standard on the SE and standard on the Autobahn trim.Interior
The large, mature cabin has an emphasis on comfort and a substantial features list. There is 93.5 cubic feet of interior room, along wîth 16.5 cubic feet up of luggage space up to the parcel shelf and 22.8 cu ft to the roof – space that rivals even the largest midsize sedan. (concept carz) The versatility of the load space is enhanced by a trunk floor that can be raised or lowered, while the 60:40 split backrest can be folded to give an almost flat cargo area that can easily accommodate a full-size bicycle. With the rear seats folded, the Golf GTI has 52.7 cu ft of cargo capacity.
In addition to the spacious interior, the driver controls are positioned to help optimize ergonomics and usability. The seat position, height of the shifter and the spacing between the pedals are fine-tuned for increased driver comfort. This new driver-centric design focus is evident from the center stack, which is angled towards the driver—a trait frequently seen in premium luxury or performance vehicles.
The Golf GTI's premium performance personality is further accentuated from the regular Golf model by the red ambient lighting and illuminated door sills; black headliner and trim inserts; buttons and switches that are backlit in white; and the use of premium materials and soft-touch plastics throughout. A GTI-specific instrument cluster, sporty aluminum-look pedals, the unique shifter knob, and the flat-bottomed sport §teering wheel also ensure differentiation from its less-sporty siblings.
An equal amount of attention has been paid to helping maximize comfort and convenience. The standard front sport seats, wîth classic GTI 'Clark' plaid seating surfaces, can be heated, and there are six cup holders. Cruise control switches and media controls are housed on the leather-wrapped and red-stitched multifunction §teering wheel.
The Golf GTI S includes a rearview camera, leather-wrapped multifunction §teering wheel, ambient and footwell lighting wîth LED reading lights, LED fog lights, and Driving Mode Selection. In addition to the standard features of the Golf GTI S, SE models are equipped wîth KESSY® keyless access wîth push-button start and a sunroof, and can be optioned wîth leather seating surfaces.
The top-of-the-line Autobahn variants add the standard navigation system, the highly-acclaimed Fender® Premium Audio System, Climatronic® automatic dual-zone climate control, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), and a 12-way power driver's seat.
MIB II Infotainment. As standard equipment across the Golf GTI line, the MIB II infotainment system not only creates the foundation for the next generation of Volkswagen's Car-Net® connected vehicle services platform, but also offers one of the most comprehensive suites of connected vehicle services and features available in the automotive today.
The GTI S is equipped wîth the Composition Color unit, which features a new 6.5-inch capacitive touchscreen display. The infotainment system also offers SD card and ÚSB (one port) multimedia interfaces, as well as a rearview camera and standard Bluetooth® technology for compatible devices.
All other GTI models are equipped wîth a glass-covered 8.0-inch capacitive touchscreen display—SE models wîth the Composition Media unit; Autobahn models wîth the Discover Media system wîth navigation. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
The new 8.0-inch display is not only brighter than previous generation of MIB II, it also offers better color reproduction, response time and improved viewing angles due to the switch to In-plane Switching (IPS) technology.
Both units feature one ÚSB port, a JPEG viewer, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio for a three month trial period, HD Radio, and support for lossless audio file format (Free Lossless Audio Codec FLAC). Both units also have the ability to send and receive SMS text messages wîth Bluetooth wîth compatible phones and pair two phones simultaneously. The Discover Media unit offers 2.5D navigation, featuring one-shot voice destination entry, destination entry wîth quick search and auto-complete, and predicts possible destinations based on often used routes.
Volkswagen Car-Net. Volkswagen is committed to driving the development of more connected and intelligent vehicles, and the Volkswagen Car-Net® connectivity system is a major element in achieving that goal. Features available through VW Car-Net are divided into three key areas: 'App-Connect,' 'Security & Service,' and 'Guide & Inform.'
VW Car-Net App-Connect smartphone integration for compatible devices is standard on all GTI models. App-Connect offers users the ability to run select smartphone apps directly on the vehicle's display through services like Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®.
VW Car-Net Security & Service, also standard on all GTI models, is a suite of elements that provides security features and also allows owners to access their VW remotely through vw.com/carnet as well as a smartphone app.
Customers purchasing new Volkswagen models equipped wîth VW Car-Net Security & Service will receive a no-charge, six-month trial subscription from Verizon Telematics. To extend the benefits of this system after the trial, customers can choose from a number of payment options: One year for $199, two years for $378, and three years for $540, or month-to-month for $17.99, plus applicable taxes and fees. App-Connect can be used wîth no additional charge and is not included as part of the subscription-based services.
Available VW Car-Net Security & Service features include Automatic Crash Notification, which can automatically notify an operator who can quickly contact first responders in the event of a collision; Manual Emergency Call, a feature that allows for quick access to customer specialists at the touch of a button; Roadside Assistance, for added peace-of-mind in the event of trouble on the road; and Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, which uses VW Car-Net Security & Service to assist law enforcement wîth locating your vehicle in the event that it is stolen.
In addition, VW Car-Net Security & Service offers remote vehicle access, remote door lock and unlock, remote honk and flash of lights, last parked location information, and remote status check (doors and windows). Consumers will also be able to send a location from their connected compatible smart device to the factory-installed compatible navigation system on select models. For consumers who prefer a more personal touch, agent destination assist is also available.
VW Car-Net Security & Service also includes Family Guardian, which offers features such as: speed alert, which notifies the owner of the vehicle when the pre-determined maximum speed limit is exceeded; and boundary alert, which lets you know when the vehicle has traveled outside of a pre-set virtual boundary.
Diagnostics and maintenance information is also available through VW Car-Net Security & Service. In addition to the vehicle's warning and indicator lights, a Vehicle Health Report provides customers easy access to diagnostic information. When it's time for scheduled service, VW Car-Net Security & Service not only notifies the customer, but provides a simple way to schedule a dealer visit. It can even identify the closest dealer in case owners need a recommendation.
The available VW Car-Net app for smartwatch (supports select Apple WatchTM and Android WearTM operating systems) allows VW customers to control a host of Security & Service features and functions available through the iPhoneTM and AndroidTM apps as well as the Customer Web Portal, directly from their wrist. Smartwatch wearers can keep tabs on their vehicle from afar, remotely locking and unlocking doors and viewing the status of doors, windows and sunroof (open or closed). These consumers can also find a parked vehicle more quickly, wîth a map of the current vehicle location, and get walking or driving directions to the vehicle. Drivers can check their fuel level and receive alerts wîth a compatible smartwatch.
Car-Net Guide & Inform is included on GTI Autobahn models and offers an enhanced navigation and infotainment experience for VW consumers. Volkswagen has incorporated technologies that enhance existing navigation offerings while adding an additional level of information that helps empower consumers. The in-vehicle navigation system features fuel prices, sports scores, movie information and weather data as part of the three-month SiriusXM Travel Link trial. VW customers will also enjoy traffic information and a complimentary three-month SiriusXM Traffic trial.
In classic Volkswagen style, the Golf GTI is powered by a compact turbocharged engine. The 2.0-liter TSI® turbocharged and direct-injection unit that powers the Golf GTI is a member of the latest, third-generation EA888 engine family and is built in Volkswagen's state-of-the-art factory in Silao, Mexico. The EA888 engine line is a masterpiece of modern engine design that provides high levels of performance, efficiency, and drivability in a lightweight, compact package.
The EA888 engine has been retuned for the 2018 model year and produces 220 horsepower (achieved on premium fuel) at 4,700 rpm, and torque peaks at 258 lb-ft, beginning at just 1,500 rpm and lasting until 4,500 rpm. It can be paired wîth either a six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed DSG automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
The DSG transmission also incorporates a launch control feature and a new Start-Stop System designed to save fuel. (concept carz)
When equipped wîth the six-speed manual transmission, the Golf GTI achieves an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. When equipped wîth the optional six-speed DSG automatic transmission, EPA-estimated fuel economy of 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.Chassis
The A7 Golf GTI was the first Ú.S.-market vehicle built on Volkswagen's MQB modular platform. The unitary construction chassis has two solid-mounted subframes wîth bolt-on front fenders, and utilizes technologies such as the laser clamp welder, which produces 'wobble seam' welds in a wave pattern to maximize strength in a limited space, offering significantly more strength than a traditional spot weld.
The Golf GTI' stamped steel body and chassis boasts a large percentage high-strength, hot-formed steel. This technology allows much of the chassis and body to be constructed from thinner and lighter parts without loss in strength.
The Golf GTI features a strut-type front suspension wîth lower control arms and a multilink rear suspension, both of which are controlled by coil springs wîth telescopic dampers. The Golf GTI has a lowered sport suspension, which is 0.6 inches lower than Golf TSI models. The front suspension includes a 24-millimeter anti-roll bar while the rear has a 20-millimeter version, 2 mm larger at the front and 1 mm thicker at the back compared wîth a regular Golf TSI model.
The Golf GTI Autobahn trim features the latest version of the DCC® adaptive chassis control system, which manages the suspension's rebound and compression rates individually, helping to improve vehicle dynamics.
The 2018 Golf GTI comes equipped wîth large 12.33-inch vented front discs and 10.7-inch solid rear discs wîth standard three-channel ABS wîth electronic brake pressure distribution. The SE and Autobahn trims increase brake disc size even further, to 13.4-inch front and 12.2-inch rear vented discs, wîth single-piston calipers all around.
All 2018 Golf GTI models are equipped wîth the XDS®+ Cross Differential System. This technology acts somewhat like an electronic substitute for a traditional mechanical limited-slip differential, working by actively monitoring data from each wheel sensor. If the suspension becomes unloaded, the system can automatically apply braking to the driven inside wheel as needed to reduce understeer (the tendency for the front wheels to run wide). This can help improve handling and cornering performance.
The Driving Mode Selection feature was introduced in 2015 for the seventh-generation Golf GTI. There are three modes on cars wîth the standard sport suspension: 'Normal,' 'Sport,' and 'Individual.' The DCC adaptive damping system adds a 'Comfort' mode. Normal and Sport have a different §teering heft and throttle response, while Individual allows a driver to tailor the §teering and throttle, as well as adjust the front lighting on cars fitted wîth the available Lighting Package. On cars wîth the DSG transmission, the Sport mode gives more aggressive shifts. With the DCC system, Comfort mode puts the dampers in their softest setting for a smooth highway ride and to their firmest setting in Sport for better cornering performance.
Another standout feature on the Golf GTI is the ESC Sport function for very experienced drivers for use on closed courses, such as a racetrack. The system is activated by a two-stage switch on the center console. If the driver pushes the button once, the ASR (traction control) function is deactivated. When the button is pressed longer than three seconds, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) switches to the ESC Sport mode. In high-speed driving, such as on a racetrack, the ESC system operates at a higher threshold for even more agile handling. ESC can also be activated through the 'CAR' settings menu.
The 2018 Golf GTI SE and Autobahn models come equipped wîth the torque-sensing limited-slip differential, dubbed VAQ. This electronically-controlled differential works in concert wîth the existing stability systems (including the related brake-based XDS+ electronic differential lock) to help improve traction and performance. Tests at the Nürburgring Nordschleife track have shown lap-time improvements of more than eight seconds compared to Golf models without the differential.
The VAQ acts as a traditional limited-slip differential—which reacts by transferring a set amount of torque to non-slipping wheels when others lose traction—but adds to its effectiveness by monitoring the data from each wheel sensor at all times. Since this data includes both vehicle and wheel speed, as well as yaw and lateral g-force, the system can make precise adjustments to help maintain an optimum torque balance between the left and right front wheels. Úp to a full 100 percent of torque can be transferred to either side, as opposed to the fixed 'best guess' percentage seen in traditional limited-slip differentials. The result of this proactive (rather than reactive) system is the reduction of the understeer and torque steer that can afflict sporty front-wheel-drive cars.
The Golf GTI also features the progressive electric power §teering system. This is an elegant solution to a common problem wîth §teering systems, which is that different speeds and maneuvers ideally require different §teering rates. In this case, Volkswagen has spaced the teeth on the §teering gear's rack more tightly toward the center. The lower §teering ratio in the center means that the car can respond more quickly when entering a turn, while the higher ratio at the ends of the rack can reduce the amount of effort needed near full §teering lock, such as when parking. The §teering wheel goes from lock to lock in just 2.1 turns, whereas the standard Golf needs 2.76 turns.Safety
To help protect occupants, the Golf GTI provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems. The Golf GTI has been engineered to meet or exceed all current safety regulations and features no fewer than six airbags as standard along wîth a number of electronic and mechanical safety systems, including standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
Volkswagen's Automatic Post-Collision Braking System is standard on the 2018 Golf GTI. This builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact—the most significant of which can cause additional collisions. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System helps address this by applying the brakes when a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thus helping reduce residual kinetic energy and, in turn, the chance of additional damage.
The GTI also includes Volkswagen's Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in certain types of collisions.Driver Assistance
| ||Vital Stats|
|Engine : 2.0 L., 4-cylinder|
Power: 220 hp
Torque: 258 ft-lbs
6-speed Manual, 6-speed Automatic
The GTI offers a standard rearview camera and number of available driver assistance systems, including Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking wîth Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Blind Spot Monitor wîth Rear Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist), front and rear Park Distance Control wîth Maneuver braking (ParkPilot), Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist), and High Beam Control (Light Assist).
Front Assist, standard on SE models and up, helps warn drivers of potential frontal collisions (Forward Collision Warning) wîth vehicles and pedestrians, and in some cases can provide automatic braking assistance (Autonomous Emergency Braking). Pedestrian Monitoring will have late availability on SE models for 2018.
Within physical system limits, Forward Collision Warning helps warn the driver of critical front-end collision situations, both acoustically and visually by a warning symbol in the instrument cluster above 18 mph. If the driver fails to brake, or if the car is below 18 mph, Autonomous Emergency Braking is activated to help slow the vehicle. If the brake pedal is applied but the driver brakes too lightly, the brake pressure is increased by the system (Braking Support).
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), standard on Autobahn models, uses a forward facing radar to maintain a set speed while helping maintain a set distance to the vehicle in front. The driver sets the speed and the desired spacing via buttons on the multifunction §teering wheel and can further use those buttons or the brakes to adjust and cancel the ACC function while the accelerator can be used to override the ACC function. All ACC-related system messages appear in the central multifunction display.
When the roadway ahead of the vehicle is clear, the system maintains the set speed. GTI models fitted wîth ACC can match a vehicle in front and come to a stop. If the car stands longer than three seconds, the driver can resume ACC control after pressing the accelerator pedal or the 'resume' button on the §teering wheel.
Blind Spot Monitor wîth Rear Traffic Alert is standard on SE models and up. Blind Spot Monitor uses two radar sensors at the rear of the vehicle to scan the approaching traffic and can help warn drivers of potential danger in adjacent lanes. If the driver uses the turn signal to indicate a lane change while a vehicle is detected in a blind spot, the system utilizes a flashing LED symbol in the outer area of the side mirrors. Even if the driver does not use a turn signal, the LED symbol in the mirror will illuminate if a vehicle is detected in the blind spot. The system is designed to help alert drivers in specific situations; stationary objects or oncoming vehicles do not trigger warnings, nor will vehicles more than one lane across away from the vehicle.
If combined wîth Lane Assist (standard on Autobahn models, see below) the system not only helps warn the driver wîth the flashing LED symbol if a vehicle is detected in the blind spot, but within system limits, it can also countersteer to help keep the car in the lane even wîth turn signals on. If the driver still tries to steer out of the lane, the system will warn wîth an additional vibration of the §teering wheel.
The Rear Traffic Alert system helps detect vehicles approaching from the side that may be difficult for the driver to see while reversing. It offers a sizable range of about 65 feet, and will present a visual and an acoustic warning, before applying the brakes if a potential impending collision is detected. If the driver does not react, the system can apply the brakes to help mitigate and, in the best case, prevent a collision. The system is activated by putting the car in reverse.
GTI Autobahn models include standard Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist). When driving above 40 mph, if there is an indication that the vehicle is unintentionally straying from its lane, Lane Assist can actively countersteer to help keep the vehicle in the lane. The system's camera recognizes visible lane markings and, using a special algorithm, calculates the risk of the car leaving the lane. If the driver takes his or her hands off the wheel for a defined period of time, the system provides an audible warning and a visual signal in the instrument cluster, directing the driver to place his or her hands back on the wheel. If the vehicle crosses a lane marking without use of a turn signal, the system will countersteer to help keep the vehicle in the lane.
The system can work in the dark and/or in fog, but it will not engage if it cannot properly detect lane markings. If the turn signal has been set before crossing a lane marking, the Lane Assist system will not engage or give a warning. The driver can 'override' the system at any time by applying minimal force to the §teering wheel.
ParkPilot, also standard on Autobahn models, uses ultrasonic sensors located in the front and rear bumpers to monitor a range of up to five feet in front or behind the vehicle. The system is activated when reverse gear is engaged or below a speed of 9 mph and helps provide guidance when parking or in tight spaces. The system has audible and visual warnings when the car starts to approach parked cars or static objects from the front or rear.
New on GTI is an emergency braking system called Maneuver Braking. Included wîth ParkPilot, it can help mitigate or prevent collisions wîth static obstacles to the front and rear while the vehicle is maneuvered. The system is active when reverse gear is selected. If the system detects a stationary object while the vehicle is in reverse and moving between 1-6 mph, it can apply the brakes automatically to help prevent or mitigate a collision. The system can be deactivated at any time using the touch display or permanently in the setup menu.
Park Assist is included as standard equipment on Autobahn models. This system can now automatically steer the car into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces (the latter both forward and in reverse). After pressing the Park Assist button, the system will preselect the likeliest parking maneuver based on the size of the parking spot but it will also show other available maneuvers in the instrument cluster. The driver only needs to activate the accelerator pedal and brake once a gear is selected, as Park Assist automatically helps steer the vehicle into the parking space.
The driver can override or deactivate the §teering assistance at any time by turning the §teering wheel, disengaging reverse gear or pressing the button. Below 25 mph, the system scans both the left-hand and right-hand sides of the road—for example, in a one-way street—for any parking spaces as it drives past. By activating the turn signal, the driver stipulates which side of the road they wish to park on.
High Beam Control (Light Assist), standard on Autobahn models, automatically raises the headlamp high beams above 40 mph on dark or poorly lit roads, if there is no oncoming traffic detected.Warranty
For the 2018 model year, Volkswagen Golf GTI models in the Únited States will come wîth the People First Warranty, a six-year or 72,000-mile (whichever occurs first) bumper-to-bumper New Vehicle Limited Warranty, which can be transferred to subsequent owners throughout its duration.
The six-year/72,000-mile People First Warranty includes powertrain coverage for engines, transmissions and optional 4Motion® all-wheel-drive systems. Additionally, all the elements of the People First Warranty can be transferred to subsequent owners for up to six years or 72,000 miles, whichever occurs first, from the date it was first sold new.
Most mainstream competitors to the Volkswagen brand in the Únited States such as Honda, Toyota and Ford offer only a three-year/36,000 mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty on their cars and SÚVs. While Hyundai and Kia offer a five-year/60,000 mile basic warranty and a higher time and mileage limit on their powertrain limited warranties, if the vehicle is sold to a second owner, the powertrain limited warranty is not transferable beyond five years or 60,000 miles from the date it was first sold new.Source - Volkswagen
A compact car manufacturer in Germany, the Rabbit originally debuted in Europe in 1974 as the Volkswagen Golf and it adopted the Rabbit moniker once it made its first appearance in Canada and the U.S. in 1975. The named was switched back to the original Golf name in 1985 and it remained that way for 21 years.
In 1975, Volkswagen introduced the Rabbit as an attempt to correct flagging sales for their company. At the time, Japanese auto makers were competing with the VW Beetle by introducing little ‘econoboxes' at a much cheaper price and were overwhelming the U.S. market. Cute, compact and a front wheel drive vehicle, the Rabbit was priced nearly the same as a Japanese econobox, but with a water-cooled 4 cylinder engine with a transversely mounted engine that drove the front wheels.
Replacing the Beetle in the U.S. market, it wasn't until about 4 years after it was introduced when the Rabbit finally became popular, most of this due to the oil crisis. Fuel economy was excellent on the tiny little car, 45 in the city, and up to 57 mpg on the highway, this could be combined with the optional 1.514 cylinder Diesel. Enthusiasts clamored for this new Volkswagen. In 1979 production for the U.S. market was relocation to New Stanton, Pennsylvania and the first Rabbit rolled off the assembly line on April 10th, 1978. NBC news was on hand to document the first foreign vehicle to be built in the U.S.A. Production of the VW went from April of 1978 until July 1988 at the New Stanton plant before they closed. A total of 1,192,411 vehicles were produced at this plant.
For the late 1979 model year the Rabbit received a make-over as the production was moved. The largest and most noticeable change to the American Rabbit, were the addition of all new square headlights. 1979 was also the year that the Rabbit Convertible was introduced and featured the body of the Rabbit, but featured a soft vinyl top. The convertible featured the round headlights that were found on older-model rabbit's.
The Rabbit received yet another make-over in 1981 and featured the new square headlight from the previous year, with wrap around turn signals that replaced the ones that had been used previously in the bumper. Inside, the Rabbit received a much more modern ‘Americanized' interior that was color keyed completely in the inside. For the 1981 model year, the engine was upgraded to a larger size and the gas engine leaped from 1.6 to 1.71 and the diesel also shot from a 1.5 to a 1.6.
During its production run, the VW Rabbit didn't receive many changes, though it did undergo many improvements. The Rabbit pickup was debuted in 1979 late in the year for the 1980 model year. The pickup was lengthened by 3 feet and had great hauling capacity and was offered with either a diesel or gas engine, though most were sold as diesels.
The GTi was introduced in 1982 and a much more sporty rendition of the VW Rabbit. The engine was a 1.81 and it featured a much stiffer suspension, front air dam, alloy wheels and unique Recaro sports seats. All of the grand features that drivers wanted were improved, the top speed, the handling and the acceleration on the GTi.
In 1982 a special 'black tie' edition Rabbit was introduced and featured black bumpers and mouldings that gave it an elegant look. On the inside, special seats were utilized and a rear wiper was also added. A Wolfsburg Edition Rabbit was debuted for 1984. A lush Rabbit model, the Wolfsburg came with a very unique interior, along with an extra moulding on the bottom of the door, and A/C.
The Volkswagen Golf was introduced in July of 1984 and the Rabbit stepped aside a bit. After being redesigned and renamed, the Rabbit convertible became the Cabriolet, and more recently to the Cabrio. Though it was not a long-lasting vehicle, the Rabbit was a popular vehicle that made a big impact on the history of Volkswagen. Today, the Rabbit is still a popular vehicle that is still in high demand all over the U.S. Though U.S. production has stopped, the MK1's continue to be produced by Volkswagen of South Africa dubbed as the CitiGolf model.
Volkswagen of America announced the return of the Rabbit on April 12, 2006 at the Detroit Auto Show. This was due partly to the decline of sales for the VW Golf in the North American market and VW of America choosing to re-brand the Golf name. This newly introduced model is the same as the Golf V that is sold worldwide.
For the 2007 model year, the Mk V Rabbit replaced the VW Golf and the engine was upgraded to a standard 2.5-L 150-hp I-5 for both the 2-door and 4-door models. The '06 Rabbit was available in two trims, a 2-door and a 4-door hatchback. The 2-door came wit a 150-hp 2.5L DOHC engine, speed sensitive wipers, 10-speaker AM/FM CD stereo system, 6 way manually adjustable driver's seat and turn signal indicator in side mirrors. The 4-door rabbit came with a 150-hp 2.5L DOHC engine, heatable front seats, adjustable lumbar support for both driver and front passenger, light tinted windows, and 60/40 folding rear seat.
By March 2009 the Volkswagen again chose to drop the 'Rabbit' nomenclature and chose once again to rename it the 'Golf'. Volkswagen debuted the all new Golf/Rabbit online on August 2008, thought the official unveiling of the 6th generation occurred at the 2008 Paris Motor Show in October 2008. The newest Golf/Rabbit will be wider than before and will feature body styling similar to the VW Scirocco as well as tail-lamps that remind one of the Touareg. Under the hood was a range of 2-diesel (1.9-liter and 2.0-liter TDI) and 3 Petrol (1.4-liter TSI, 1.8-liter and 2.0-liter TFSI) burning engines. The '09 Rabbit features a 5-cylinder engine with Tiptronic 6 speed automatic transmission which can be adjusted to sport mode which allows for longer RPM runs before gear shifting. To keep the engine in the power band, the sport mode also aggressively down shifts. A manual mode is available as an alternative that allowed the driver to shift gears up and down, much like a F1 car.
On October 15, 2008 the first U.K. example of the all new Golf was auction off for charity by the London Press Club Ball. All of the proceeds went to the 'Journalists' Charity', a UK charity for journalists in need.
At this time there are no hybrid variants of the VW rabbit, but there is also an opportunity that Volkswagen's 2.0 liter clean diesel engine will be available from 2008 on. Outside of North America the VW Rabbit is known as the Golf and over 5 generations and more than 24 million vehicles have been produced.By Jessica Donaldson