Image credits: © Volkswagen.

2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen


•Pricing starts at $21,685 for the S model wîth 5-speed manual transmission
•Available wîth 4Motion® all-wheel-drive system on S trim wîth 6-speed manual or 6-speed DSG® automatic transmissions
•All trims now feature standard LED taillights, LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) and automatic headlights wîth rain sensor
•New, larger MIB II touchscreen infotainment systems across all trims up to 8 inches
•Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking wîth Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist), Blind Spot Monitor wîth Rear Traffic Alert and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) become standard driver assistance features on various trims
•Six-year or 72,000-mile 'bumper-to-bumper' limited warranty beats its competitors' bumper to bumper coverage in years and mileage
•Golf SportWagen offers cargo volume on par wîth compact SÚVs for size and versatility

Herndon, VA (November 7, 2017) – Volkswagen SportWagen models have long been a top choice for customers who want the space and utility of an SÚV, but the nimbleness and fun-to-drive capabilities of a Golf. The stylish 2018 Golf SportWagen model presents a winning combination of versatility, comfort and high-performance.

New for 2018The 2018 Golf SportWagen is available in three trims—S, SE and SEL. Visually refreshed front and rear, all Golf models feature newly-designed LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) and striking LED taillights. The S trim adds automatic headlights wîth rain-sensing wipers as standard equipment for model year 2018, as well as a 6.5-inch Composition Color touchscreen infotainment display.

The Golf SportWagen SE trim now sits on 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels and adds an 8-inch Composition Media touchscreen infotainment display. Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist) and Blind Spot Monitor wîth Rear Traffic Alert are now standard driver assistance features. Pedestrian Monitoring will be added mid-model year.

The Golf SportWagen SEL now rides on newly-designed 17-inch 'Karlskoga' aluminum-alloy wheels, features a new 8-inch Discover Media infotainment and navigation display, and adds an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror. New driver assistance features include Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking wîth Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).

For the 2018 model year, Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 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 SportWagen wîth a standard five-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive starts at $21,685. The six-speed automatic transmission starts at $22,785. Pricing for the 2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 4Motion® wîth a standard five-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive starts at $23,935. The six-speed automatic transmission starts at $25,035. The destination charge for all Golf SportWagen models is an additional $850.


The Golf SportWagen carries the unmistakable DNA of the Volkswagen Golf, wîth a shape and design elements that are defined and internationally-recognizable. Distinctive elements of the SportWagen, however, include a D-pillar, roof rails and a unique rear design that differentiate it from the Golf hatchback.

The front end features a hood that slopes down into the front fenders and sports angular horizontal design cues. An updated front grille, wîth upper chrome and lower chrome freshen the SportWagen's look.

At the back, the Golf SportWagen features a wide rear window, new LED taillights and a wide, low tailgate that integrates the license plate. With a load height of just 24.8 inches and a wide aperture of 40.6 inches, the Golf SportWagen has been designed wîth maximum functionality in mind.

The Golf SportWagen is 179.6 inches long and 70.8 inches wide—dimensions that ensure sporty proportions and aerodynamic performance of the vehicle. Thanks to the MQB architecture, which dictates a fixed relationship between the front-wheel centerline and the pedal box, the front wheels sit forward, giving a premium 'cab backward' aesthetic. Along wîth the styling, these updated proportions help the SportWagen achieve a lower visual center of gravity and a more dynamic stance.

The SportWagen S model is equipped wîth 15-inch 'Lyon' aluminum-alloy wheels. The SportWagen S 4Motion® trim is shod wîth 16-inch 'Toronto' aluminum-alloy wheels. The SE trimline has 16-inch 'Dover' wheels, while the topline SEL trim has new 17-inch 'Karlskoga' wheels. A panoramic sunroof is standard equipment on SE and SEL models. The SEL has silver roof rails to further set it apart from the S and SE, which sport black roof rails.


The upscale environment of the SportWagen cabin is largely shared wîth the Golf model, wîth increased interior space due to the wagon body style. Occupants are treated to 94.3 cu ft of passenger area volume.

Rear-seat leg- and shoulder room are 35.6 and 53.9 inches, respectively. Front seat passengers also benefit from the spacious SportWagen interior, wîth 41.2 inches of legroom and 55.9 inches across the shoulders. Both front and rear headroom are 38.6 inches.

The SportWagen has a spacious cargo hold that's in line wîth those of compact SÚVs. With the rear seats up, the SportWagen boasts 30.4 cu ft of space: when the 60:40 split rear seat is fully folded, that figure rises to an enormous 66.5 cu ft of storage. The split folding rear seats are accessed by release levers in the cargo area, helping to maximize convenience.

In addition to the expansive interior space, 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 driver-centric design focus is evident from the center stack, which is angled towards the driver, a feature frequently seen in premium luxury or performance vehicles. White backlighting for the controls further highlights this upscale ambience, as well as the use of premium materials throughout, such as the leather-wrapped handbrake, shifter knob and §teering wheel, the soft-touch plastics and piano-black trim.

An equal amount of attention has been paid to helping to maximize comfort and convenience, even on the entry-level S trim. This base model comes well equipped wîth a long list of modern comfort, convenience and entertainment features, including power windows and mirrors, a multifunction §teering wheel, and rearview camera.

The SE trim features KESSY® keyless entry wîth push-button start. The top-of-the-line SEL variants come loaded wîth a navigation system, Climatronic® automatic dual-zone climate control, ambient lighting wîth LED interior reading lights, front comfort sport seats that include a 12-way power driver's seat, and the Fender® Premium Audio System.

MIB II Infotainment. As standard equipment across the Golf SportWagen 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 SportWagen 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 SportWagen models are equipped wîth a glass-covered 8.0-inch capacitive touchscreen display—SE models wîth the Composition Media unit; SEL models wîth the Discover Media system wîth navigation. (posted on 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 SportWagen 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®.

Equipped on SE models and above, VW Car-Net Security & Service is a suite of elements that provides security features and also allows owners to access their VW remotely through 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 SEL 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.


The Golf SportWagen features a compact turbocharged and direct-injection 1.8-liter four-cylinder EA888 TSI® gasoline engine. It produces 170 horsepower at 4,500 rpm, and wîth an automatic transmission, torque peaks at 199 pound-feet (184 pound-feet wîth a manual transmission) wîth the broad torque band starting at 1,600 rpm and lasting until 4,400 rpm. The TSI engine is mated to either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission in front-wheel-drive models. Golf SportWagen models wîth 4Motion are mated to either a six-speed manual or an optional six-speed DSG® automatic transmission wîth Tiptronic®.

EPA-estimated fuel economy is currently pending EPA certification, but front-wheel-drive models equipped wîth the five-speed manual are expected to be rated around 25 mpg in city driving and 35 mpg on the highway. Front-wheel-drive models equipped wîth the optional six-speed automatic are expected to be rated around 24 mpg in city driving and 33 mpg on the highway.

4Motion models equipped wîth the six-speed manual are expected to be rated around 22 mpg in city driving and 32 mpg on the highway. Front-wheel-drive models equipped wîth the optional six-speed automatic are expected to be rated around 22 mpg in city driving and 30 mpg on the highway. These estimates are preliminary, and official EPA estimates will be available later this Fall.


Vital Stats
Engine : 1.8 L., 4-cylinder
Power: 170 hp
Torque: 199 ft-lbs

5-speed Manual, 6-speed Automatic, 7-speed DSG
The Golf SportWagen shares the same MQB chassis architecture as the rest of the Mk7 Golf line. The unitary construction chassis has two solid-mounted subframes wîth bolt-on front fenders, and utilizes new 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 models' 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 any loss in strength.

The Golf SportWagen features a strut-type front suspension. At the back, it has a multilink arrangement wîth coil springs, telescopic dampers, and an anti-roll bar.

The seventh-generation Golf braking system has 11.3-inch vented front discs and 10.7-inch solid rear discs wîth standard three-channel ABS wîth electronic brake pressure distribution. The rack-and-pinion §teering features electric power assist and features a 13.6 to one ratio that allows for 2.76 turns from lock to lock.

All 2018 Golf models are equipped wîth the XDS® Cross Differential System—a feature previously only seen on the performance-oriented GTI model. 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 help reduce understeer (the tendency for the front wheels to run wide). This not only helps the Golf's stability, but can also help improve handling and cornering performance.

4Motion all-wheel-drive system

The Volkswagen 4Motion permanent all-wheel-drive system is available on the S model, wîth automatic or manual transmissions. The latest-generation 4Motion system is activated before any wheelspin occurs, helping eliminate traction losses. The system achieves this by using an advanced control function based on specific driving conditions. When operating under a relatively low load or when coasting, the front wheels are driven and the rear wheels are decoupled, which can help save fuel. (concept carz) However, the rear wheels can be engaged in fractions of a second whenever necessary via the center differential, which is activated by an electro-hydraulic oil pump.

A control unit continually calculates the ideal drive torque for the rear wheels and controls how much the multi-plate clutch should be closed by activating the oil pump. The oil pressure increases the contact pressure at the clutch plates in proportion to the torque desired at the rear axle. So, the amount of pressure applied to the clutch plates can be used to continuously vary the amount of torque going between the front and rear wheels, up to a maximum of 50 percent at the rear axle.

In addition to the center differential that acts longitudinally, electronic differential locks (EDL) that are a function of the electronic stability control system act laterally. The system briefly brakes a wheel that is slipping, enabling uninterrupted and stable transfer of drive power to the wheel on the opposite side.


Like the rest of the Golf line, the SportWagen provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems. It has been engineered to meet or exceed all current crash regulations and features no fewer than six airbags as standard along wîth a number of electronic safety systems, including Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

A standard feature on 2018 Golf SportWagen models is Volkswagen's Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. 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 to reduce residual kinetic energy and, in turn, the chance of additional damage.

The Golf SportWagen 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 where the airbags deploy.

Driver Assistance

The Golf SportWagen 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), High Beam Control (Light Assist) and Overhead View Camera (Area View).

Front Assist, standard on SE and SEL models, helps warn drivers of potential frontal collisions (Forward Collision Warning) wîth vehicles, and in some cases can provide automatic braking assistance (Autonomous Emergency Braking). Pedestrian Monitoring is standard on SEL trims for 2018 and will be added to SE trims mid-model year.

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 SEL 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. SportWagen 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 and SEL models. 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.

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.

For the 2018 model year, Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 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


The Volkswagen Golf GTI was unveiled in 1975 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The ÚK market had to wait a further two years for vehicles to arrive – 1977 saw 34 examples, all of them left hand drive, sold in the GTI's first tentative year.

The GTI was powered by a 1,588 cc four cylinder engine wîth K-Jetronic fuel injection it developed 110 PS at 6,100 rpm and 103 lbs ft of torque at 5,000 rpm. This allowed the GTI, which weighed 810 kg unladen, to hit 60 mph from standstill in nine-seconds before reaching a top speed of 110 mph.

The now familiar mix of a high-revving, responsive four-cylinder engine installed in a hatchback body wîth the emphasis on driving fun was linked to a pared down interior came as a revelation at the time. Especially when combined wîth tartan trim and the now iconic golf ball gearshift.

The car was an instant hit. By the time right-hand drive cars arrived in the ÚK in 1979 a total of 1,573 cars were sold in that year, a number that would triple within two years.

In 1984 the Mk II GTI was launched and picked up where the Mk I left off. A new chassis structure, a 1,781 cc engine developing 112 PS and 114 lbs ft of torque and new styling evolved the GTI and saw it appeal to a new generation of fans. Sales of the Mk II GTI surpassed those of the Mk I, peaking at 17,193 vehicles in 1989. In Germany a supercharged G60 version developing 160 PS was sold, an output that wouldn't be bettered in a GTI until 2002.

Three years later the Mk III GTI was launched, bringing wîth it a new 2.0-litre eight-valve engine and improved aerodynamics over the previous Mk I and Mk II models. In 1993 the GTI fitted was wîth a 2.0-litre 16-valve engine, raising the power output from 115 PS in the eight-valve model up to a more substantial 150 PS and 133 lbs ft of torque to drop the 0-60 mph time to 8.3 seconds and raise the top speed to 133 mph.

The introduction of the Mk IV GTI in 1998 saw significant changes to the line-up wîth the first diesel-engined GTI introduced along wîth two petrol engines in a total of four different states of tune. The Mk IV GTI made significant gains in refinement and safety – in 2002 the fastest accelerating and most powerful GTI produced up until that point was released in the form of the 180 PS GTI 25th Anniversary Edition. It was the success of this more powerful vehicle that inspired the introduction of the Mk V GTI.

Launched in September 2004 at the Paris Motor Show the Mk V GTI equipped wîth a 200 PS engine was not only the most powerful but also the most focused GTI yet produced. A new 2.0-litre T-FSI engine linked to a six-speed gearbox and standard Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) were linked to a new chassis equipped wîth MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link configuration at the rear. The vehicle was 15 mm lower than the standard Golf on new springs, dampers and anti-roll bars.

Visual cues were taken from the original GTI wîth the return of the tartan interior and the red surround to the grille element – even the GTI typeface used on the badge echoed that of the original.

The Mk V GTI served as a basis for two special editions – the Pirelli and Edition 30. Both models were powered by an evolution of the 2.0-litre T-FSI engine fitted to the conventional GTI, albeit both producing 230 PS.

The wildest GTI ever created – the GTI W12-650 – was also based on the Mk V. Powered by a mid-mounted 6.0-litre W12 engine producing 650 PS the vehicle could accelerate to 62 mph in 3.7-seconds and could theoretically achieve a maximum speed of 201 mph.

Production of the Mk V Golf ceased in August 2008 wîth a total of 17,630 examples sold in the ÚK alone. In total over 1,700,000 examples of the GTI have been sold worldwide since the vehicle went on sale in 1976.

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
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