Progress report: 1982 VW Golf Mk1 vs 2020 VW Golf Mk8
The most luxurious Golf money can buy right now meets the 1980s’ idea of a posh peoples’ car
You ‘d like Alex, who mentioned the brand-new Golf’s upholstery Easter egg. Alex has actually possessed this inky black 1982 VW Golf Mk1 for 14 years. His papa bought it for ₤ 140 and also sportingly let Alex daily-drive it at college. There used to be a little dent in one of the front wings from when some horrid Kentish young people elected to lob a block off a bridge as it was passing beneath. For some time it stayed as part of the automobile’s background, yet the rest of it’s too immaculate to not have that scar repaired. Nonetheless, this is no garage queen.
2 years earlier, to commemorate the Golf’s 40th birthday celebration, Alex determined he would certainly drive the cars and truck home. Not to his residence– to the automobile’s.
So, amidst the sub-zero horrors of the ‘Monster from the East’ tornado, he drove it from the center of England to Wolfsburg in Germany, took a few photographs, and drove it all the way back once again. When he returned, the head gasket went pop. So, he replaced it, and kept using the automobile. Told you he was one of us.
While Alex trains his crucial eye on the extremely latest VW, I’m off to fawn over his OG. You’re believing ‘hang on, the very first Golf was a child of the Seventies’, aren’t you? Quite right. Giugiaro’s achingly perfect straight-lined layout initially went on UK sale back in October 1974, as well as it was a smash hit.
A lot so, by the start of the power-crazed, loadsamoney Eighties, VW discovered there was a fad for London nouveaus riche and also well-to-do suburban sorts to purchase its cheap little hatchback speced up with all the trimmings. And it reacted, with the Golf GLS, which became this: the GL version.
It means ‘Golf Deluxe’. Really I’ve simply made that up, yet it completely describes what this cars and truck is: the top-of-the-range variation of the initial Golf, leaving out the go-faster GTI.
This version was everything about the garnish, not speed. The little touches that claimed “Excuse me, you there in your Ford Companion. I’m considerably far better than you– simply check out my headlamp washers.”
Not even the brand-new Mk8 Golf has front lights washer jets. You could suggest it does not need them. This is the GL’s contemporary ancestor: the 2020 Golf Style. It’s a ₤ 27,000 range-topper total with a 48-volt hybrid-assisted 1.5-litre turbocharged engine driving a seven-speed, twin-clutch gearbox. There’s flexible cruise control and lane-following steering. It can download and install updates over the internet. There’s a choice of 30 colours for the ambient lights, and also LED light clusters on every corner.
So no, the brand-new Golf doesn’t need tear ducts for its headlights. It can see around bends as well as smartly dip major beam when one more automobile goes along. It’s a technology fest. Three years earlier, when smartphone connectivity and also voice control were closer to sci-fi than real estate, VW seduced Golf buyers with instead even more modest precisions.
Exclusive to ye olde Golf GL back in the day were such frivolities as plastic-trimmed door tops instead of bare painted metal. The front grille wore a thin chrome border– as did the window-winder deals with. And the greatest mic-drop in all of auto interior design: a rev-counter.
In conclusion, these two automobiles share a badge and a lineage, yet they’re as different in every other particular as a Design T Ford as well as the Space Shuttle. End of story.
Except, not quite. There are hairs of Mk1 Golf DNA woven right into its very-great granddaughter. Alex points out the shared quarterlight home window behind the A-pillar, developed to boost exposure at joints. He notes the Mk8– to the frothing craze of Golf enthusiasts– has actually abandoned the Mk7’s gas strut-equipped hood, and also returned to an easy unclippable pole– like the original. As ever before, there’s a pleasingly angular back pillar, and a chrome-lipped nose.
Even inside, there seems to be a family tree between these vehicles, strange as it may seem. Look at the cockpit of the very first Golf: it’s a fantastic piece of straightforward comfort designs. The radio as well as heating system controls have actually been hoisted above the vents to the very same elevation as the tool dials, so everything you might reach out as well as fiddle with is securely in your eyeline.
Currently contrast that to today’s Golf. I’m no fan of the latest version’s idiotic touch-sensitive heater and also quantity controls, nor the cheap black ‘piano’ plastic in which the twin 10-inch screens are housed. They’re an uncommon slice of Volkwagen selling its practical heart in the name of design, and making a right old cock-up. Yet in regards to raw architecture, Golfs 1 and 8 have something alike. Technology up leading, ventilation and storage space downstairs.
Wondering what’s taking place in the middle of the classic car’s guiding wheel? Why, that’s a wolf securing a castle, my discovered pal notifies me. It’s the symbol of the Golf’s house community, Wolfsburg. Volkswagen ultra-geeks will be conserving that picture to keep in their special secret folder for later. Phwoar.
On the other hand, the Golf 8 is the initial Volkswagen to use the brand’s freshly redesigned logo design on its chunky guiding wheel, beating the all-electric ID3 to showrooms. Is this the Golf’s last stand, prior to electrification sweeps it away in favour of a brand-new hatchback symbol? Perhaps …
Currently, I’m not going to waste your time exhaustively contrasting exactly how a contemporary car with the crash safety of an airplane’s black box drives versus a device developed prior to the Apple Computer System Business had actually been founded or Concorde initially flew.
‘Blah blah agility, blah exposure, blah they do not make ’em like they utilized to however I wouldn’t fancy having a debate with an oak tree’. You’ve heard all of it before. I’ve created all of it previously, actually.
Below’s a various inquiry for these two top-of-the-range Golfs: do they make you wish you were driving a GTI instead?
In the Mk8, I kinda do. It does not lack performance: with 150bhp on the end of my toe it’s twice as effective as Alex’s cars and truck, and despite the fact that it weighs half a tonne extra, it’s easily much faster. Quicker than a Mk1 GTI, actually. And also a Mk2. It’s additionally 10mpg kinder on fuel, and also it’s so serene on board, I would certainly run the risk of sleeping if it weren’t for the reality the heating system was stuck on ‘Arctic blast’ as well as it’s also fiddly to run the risk of a reset. Brrrr.
However it ain’t unforgettable. It’s been engineered to the nanometre to be a sure-footed, carefree, wholly trustworthy as well as unsurprising cars and truck to drive. There’s a suitable quantity of front-end grip, as well as the controls all supply a constant weight and oily slickness. Yet it’s never a car you ‘d goad. This light hybrid-battery complete design feels a bit lumpen, and if you attempt to play some, cough, crazy-Golf, it’s a little bit of a pudding.
In the Golf GL, nonetheless … I do not assume you would certainly miss the truth you weren’t resting behind a red lipstick would certainly grille, as well as only had actually 70bhp at hand, as opposed to the GTI’s stimulating 108bhp. There’s so much else to delight in, therefore much that’s shared. The four-speed transmission is positive and enjoyable. You do not rush with the equipments to keep the revs low and also save gas– you enjoy them as well as let the carburettor-fed, 1457cc 4-cylinder engine sing for its dinner.
I know I’m in severe danger of going a little bit ‘blah blah just evaluates 800kg blah little grip implies big fun’– sorry. However the GL is a bit of an adventure to drive. For all its simpleness, quality and also state-of-the-art equipment, it has a particular something the Mk8– and all the Golf’s competitors– obviously lack. A little flicker of spirit. You do not have to be an enthusiastic, expert automobile geek to spot that, but it helps.