The German model Volkswagen Golf managed to stay alive and well for almost forty years. The carmaker has never officially numbered each generation, but the public and motoring journalists have. Now, we can find them under Mk1, Mk2 and so on. The automaker accepted the numbering system now with the introduction of the 7th generation. Only this year, until July, the specialists have sold 29.13 million units. Let us make a short visit to the past of this well-known Golf.
The first generation was revealed in March 1974 and it lasted until 1983. In most markets, the model was called Golf, but Rabbit on the US, Caribbean and Mexican markets. Back then, the carmaker managed to sell a million units by October. This is actually the same period VW developed the GTI category with the first Golf GTI powered by the 1.6-liter engine capable of developing 108 horsepower. The model was available on every continent in the world.
Moving on to the second generation Golf, we have the Mk2. This model was 170 mm longer and 55 mm wider than the original Golf. Under the hood used to have a 1.8-liter engine with 4- and 16-valve trims capable of developing 158 horsepower. The carmaker also revealed all-electric and hybrid prototypes in 1989. Around 6.41 million units of the Mk2 were sold.
The Golf Mk3 was built in 1991 and had more rounded body work and it grew a little in size. Power was produced by a 2.0-liter 8-valve engine capable of developing 113 horsepower. The 16-valve version produced up to 148 horsepower. The German specialists offered a series of new elements like side airbags, direct injection diesel engines, ABS as standard and even an estate version of the model. In 1992, the Mk3 won the title of the European Car of the Year. They managed to sell 4.96 million units in six years.
The 4th generation Golf was produced between 1997 and 2003. The highlight of this generation was the quality of its interior, which was better than more expensive cars. The model was powered by a 1.8-liter 20-valve turbocharged engine and sold 4.92 million units.
The 5th generation featured the first turbocharged direct injection engine 2.0-liter GTI capable of generating 197 horsepower. By the end of 2009, the VW Golf Plus compact MPV was added to the range which sold 3.27 million cars.
The Mk6 was revealed for the first time at the 2008 Paris Motor Show and won the 2009 European Car of the Year title. The carmaker redesigned the interior as different critics said the perceived quality had dropped.
Last week, VW revealed the 7th generation in Berlin before its official launch at the Paris Motor Show. Under the hood, the new model hides a 1.4-liter TSI petrol engine with a cylinder deactivation system.
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