Golf I from Volkswagen: This automotive helped VW out of hassle in 1974 – and formed a technology | EUROtoday

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The first Golf helped VW out of hassle – and formed a complete technology

On March 29, 1974, collection manufacturing of a legendary automotive mannequin that grew to become often called the “Golf I” started. The automotive quickly grew to become a gross sales hit and saved Volkswagen. Like bell-bottoms or the “Brauner Bear” ice cream, the “Einser” additionally represents the perspective to lifetime of the Seventies and early Nineteen Eighties.

Martin Klemrath
Among other things, it was considered a space saver: presentation of the “Golf” car model from Volkswagen in 1974 Among other things, it was considered a space saver: presentation of the “Golf” car model from Volkswagen in 1974

Among different issues, it was thought of an area saver: presentation of the “Golf” automotive mannequin from Volkswagen in 1974

Source: image alliance/Wolfgang Weihs

Not makes you ingenious, and typically this motto not solely achieves financial liberation, however even a profitable product that lasts for many years and turns into a cultural asset. An instance of that is the event of a compact automotive that first rolled off the meeting line on March 29, 1974. We're speaking in regards to the VW Golf.

At this level, Volkswagen was in a temper of disaster. In the Nineteen Fifties and early Sixties, the Wolfsburg-based firm was nonetheless essentially the most profitable German firm, which was based mostly totally on a worldwide bestseller: the Beetle. The strong and inexpensive automotive was superb for the post-war and financial miracle period, however VW had rested on this profitable mannequin and its outdated know-how for too lengthy.

Developed by Ferdinand Porsche earlier than the Second World War because the “KdF car”, the Beetle with its four-cylinder boxer was long-lasting, however with 30 hp in the usual model it was not very highly effective. But fairly thirsty. The house, particularly for baggage, was somewhat suboptimal, and the air cooling by no means managed to maintain the automotive at an applicable temperature at low temperatures.

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In addition, within the early Sixties, opponents launched new fashions aimed immediately on the Beetle, together with the Ford Taunus and the Opel Kadett. 1965 was essentially the most profitable yr in Beetle historical past, when VW celebrated the development of the ten millionth instance and the manufacturing document of 1,317,295 items. But by 1967 the German economic system on the whole and VW particularly have been in decline. A brand new, fashionable bestseller was wanted, and shortly.

At the wheel of a Golf I in the Volkswagen car museum in Wolfsburg

At the wheel of a Golf I within the Volkswagen automotive museum in Wolfsburg

Source: image alliance/dpa/Peter Steffen

After a number of very costly growth false begins, Rudolf Leiding, CEO since 1971, gave the younger designer Giorgetto Giugiaro the lead find the shape. The Italian, born in 1938, based his personal design middle in 1967 and, with the Golf, delivered a automotive form that might turn out to be probably the most profitable within the historical past of mobility.

For the primary time at VW, the three.70 meter lengthy automotive was pushed by way of the entrance wheels; the engine was put in transversely. Here the VW engineers have been capable of depend on a contemporary new growth from the corporate's subsidiary Audi. The base engine with a displacement of 1.1 liters produced 50 hp, the variant with 1.5 liters produced 70 hp. In the face of the primary oil disaster of 1973/74, the economical four-cylinder engines proved to be prophetic.

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The Golf got here virtually on the final minute for VW. The efforts to resume the product vary have been huge. In 1973 the brand new mid-range class, the Passat, was launched, the fashionable small automotive Polo was within the beginning blocks for 1975, and the two-door, sporty Scirocco debuted in 1974 with the Golf on an similar platform, which was the professional successor to the Karman Ghia. If the Golf had flopped, VW might need been historical past.

But golf got here, noticed and conquered. As early as October 1976, Volkswagen celebrated the supply of its one millionth automotive. The fashionable compact class was nicknamed the “Golf class”. Like the VW Beetle or the Citroën 2CV, the “Duck” earlier than it, the Golf grew to become a “cult” automotive and formed the perspective to lifetime of the Seventies and early Nineteen Eighties simply as a lot as bell-bottoms, the “Brown Bear” ice cream or TV cartoon collection like “Wickie and the strong men”. The writer Florian Illies took up this in his e book “Generation Golf” on the flip of the millennium – and landed a bestseller.

A Golf GTI convertible

A Golf GTI convertible

Quelle: image alliance/Heritage-Images/National Motor Museum/Heritage Images

The GTI, launched in 1976, was a sporty variant with an preliminary output of 110 hp. There was additionally the 50 hp Golf diesel, which the press in 1976 confirmed had an identical temperament to petrol engines, however with low gas consumption of round seven liters. In 1979, Volkswagen additionally provided a notchback model with the Jetta and introduced the Golf Cabriolet, the best-selling open four-seater on this planet, onto the market – which achieved cult TV standing in Germany from 1984 onwards: nobody may bounce into the VW convertible with such younger, dynamic power as Sascha Hehn within the “Black Forest Clinic”.

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The Golf grew to become the most well-liked European automotive and a mannequin for contemporary compact vehicles, even when the automotive, often called the “Rabbit” within the USA, didn’t impress Americans just like the Beetle. In 1983 and after 6.99 million Golf Is, the Golf II took over the reins and continued the success story.

With 21,517,415 items produced, the Golf overtook the Beetle final inbuilt Mexico in 2003 and now in its fourth version. The eighth technology appeared in 2019. The outdated Beetle slogan “It runs and runs and runs” additionally applies to the Golf – and there’s at present no finish in sight.