The Mk8 Volkswagen Golf is fast approaching, and new spy shots have uncovered the car's interior ahead of its Frankfurt debut
Days after Volkswagen gave us a glimpse inside the next-generation Mk8 Golf, latest spy shots have revealed the new ‘digital’ cabin in full. The car will make its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, VW has confirmed.
The spy shots, taken during the car’s on-going development testing in the US, reveal that it’s all change inside for the Mk8 version of the brand’s long-standing Ford Focus rival. The hatch features a far more technologically advanced set-up according to these images; the dashboard design completely changes, removing the Mk7 car’s large, button heavy centre console and replacing it with a new thin, flat, horizontal deck, which is home to a pair of central vents and a new infotainment display angled towards the driver.
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The display itself appears to curve around and join up seamlessly with a digital instrument panel, suggesting that the Golf Mk8’s infotainment operating concept will be similar to that of the large Innovision setup used on the latest generation Touareg. VW boss Herbert Diess has also said that the Golf will be ‘fully connected 24/7’ suggesting a new suit of infotainment and connectivity systems will debut on-board.
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Spy shots of the overall profile of the Mk8 Golf suggest an significant growth in length. The nose of the car is longer and the grille and headlights appear to sit lower than before.
Pretty much the only camouflage on the latest Mk8 Golf spied by our snappers is on the front and rear lights. It’s clear to see that the headlights, sporting a new double-hexagonal signature, have a much narrower profile than those on the existing Golf. Through the masking tape, it’s possible to see an extended tip that wraps around into the front wings.
Around the back the new taillights hide beneath obstructive stickers, while the front and rear bumpers are likely placeholders, hiding the final look of the car.
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Volkswagen has already confirmed a production schedule; the first cars are due to roll off the line at the firm’s flagship Wolfsburg plant in June 2019. The announcement was made at the Golf 8 Supplier Summit at the beginning of the year, presented to 120 key suppliers for the eighth-generation model.
According to Ralf Brandstätter, VW’s chief operating officer, the launch of the Mk8 Golf in 2019 is, in terms of importance, on par with the introduction of the company’s range of I.D electric cars, which will be take up Volkswagen’s attention at the Frankfurt show in September with the reveal of the Golf-sized ID.3.
Karlheinz Hell, Volkswagen’s small car boss, said: “The next Golf will take Volkswagen into the era of fully connected vehicles with extended autonomous driving functions. It will have more software on board than ever before. It will always be online and its digital cockpit and assistance systems will be the benchmark in terms of connectivity and safety.”
New VW Golf: new tech and hybrid drive
The Golf will undergo its biggest transformation in 45 years for the next generation as the German brand prepares to roll out hybrid technology, slim down the model line-up and completely revamp the interior design.
Volkswagen’s next Golf will feature a “revolution” in its cabin, the company’s chief of design has promised. The Mk8 car is due on sale in Britain in 2020. It will continue to be based on the current car’s MQB platform, and will feature many of its same engines and transmissions – and this level of continuity has allowed VW to focus on other areas.
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VW’s design boss Klaus Bischoff has revealed to Auto Express that chief among these requirements is to be “ready for the next generation of connectivity and digitisation” – and that this has caused a “total rethink” on how the car’s cabin will look.
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“It’s a revolution,” said Bischoff. “It’s really a total digital environment; the only analogue aspect is basically the steering wheel.”
VW will use an updated version of the MQB chassis for the next-generation hatch, which is expected to shed up to 70kg due to the use of more lightweight materials. The shape or indeed the exterior of the Golf won’t change dramatically, but a more svelte front end with a lower bonnet and sleeker LED headlamps will feature, as our images show. More changes are evident at the rear, where the Golf will get more squared-off shoulders, while Golf lettering will appear beneath the VW badge for the first time, similar to the new Arteon.
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As well as offering petrol and diesel engines, the next Golf will be the first VW to feature mild hybrid technology, thanks to the adoption of a 48-volt electric system on at least some variants. Diess said: “Mild hybrid systems will play a major role in the next generation of Golf; that will be the first application.
Then probably further ahead it will also be in smaller segments.” In the face of the VW emissions scandal and rising cost of diesel technology, mild hybrid powertrains will offer a cleaner alternative to diesel with similar levels of efficiency. Conventional powertrains will remain with a new 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine being joined by a new 1.5 diesel, which will replace the current 1.6.
Variants such as the GTI and R will benefit from performance boosts, with power up to 250bhp and 350bhp respectively. The plug-in hybrid GTE will also be offered, but the e-Golf won’t make it to another generation due to the arrival of the I.D. family, Diess confirmed.
What does the new Mk8 Volkswagen Golf have to beat? This is our list of the top 10 hatchbacks currently on sale…