The new era / Generation Golf

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Success! A worthy successor to the Beetle was finally found in 1974 in the shape of the Golf. Many years leading up to this point were spent designing, drawing, building and testing, before an almost revolutionary transformation process began to take place: water instead of air cooling, in-line instead of boxer engine, front- instead of rear-wheel drive, functional design instead of fanciful curves. Other new Volkswagen models had already paved the way for the Golf: the K70, the Passat and the Scirocco. A new era was dawning. In the Volkswagen AutoMuseum we present some of the milestones from this period.

We are pleased to present a small selection of our water-cooled exhibits on this page:



Passat B1, 1973

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Year of manufacture

1973

Engine

four-cylinder in-line, water-cooled

Power

75 hp / 55 kW

Engine size

1471 cc

Top speed

160 km/h

Production period

1973-1980

The 1973 Passat clocked in the modern era at Volkswagen. It was based on the Audi 80 whose front and rear sections were redesigned by Giorgio Giugiaro. The entire car bearing chassis number 2 is the oldest production Passat in the world today. The first Passat cars were either two-door or four-door models with a small boot lid, but in 1975 an alternative was launched with a rear hatch reaching up to the roof. The estate version was already added in January 1974. By the end of 1976, production of the Passat reached its first million.

Passat B1 (1973)_01
Passat B1 (1973)_02
Passat B1 (1973)_03
Passat B1 (1973)_04

Scirocco I TS, 1973

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Year of manufacture

1973

Engine

four-cylinder in-line, water-cooled

Power

70 hp / 51 kW

Engine size

1471 cc

Top speed

164 km/h

Production period

1974–1981

With the Scirocco designed by Giugiaro – the first front-wheel-drive coupé to bear a VW badge – Volkswagen democratised the world of the sports car in 1973: it was the first affordable, economical and – thanks to the front-wheel drive – stable coupé. With its four fully fledged seats, large boot and practical tailgate, the Scirocco was considered an all-round sports car. It was precisely this mix of talents that convinced hundreds of thousands of car drivers. The coupé was built by Karmann.

Scirocco I TS 01
Scirocco I TS 02
Scirocco I TS 03
Scirocco I TS 04

Golf I LS, 1975

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Year of manufacture

1975

Engine

four-cylinder in-line, water-cooled

Power

70 hp / 51 kW

Engine size

1471 cc

Top speed

156 km/h

Production period

1974–1983

With the Golf, a completely new, compact vehicle was launched which established a new automobile class: the Golf class. Besides the impressive technology, its success was partly due to Giorgio Giugiaro’s design, which influenced the style of cars with its clear angular form. This exhibit was originally supplied with ‘brilliant yellow’ (RAL xxxx) paintwork. The vinyl seats are fir green. The chrome extras underscore the superior features available on the LS model.

Golf I LS 01
Golf I LS 02
Golf I LS 03
Golf I LS 04

Polo I, 1976

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Year of manufacture

1976

Engine

four-cylinder in-line, water-cooled

Power

40 hp / 29 kW

Engine size

895 cc

Top speed

132 km/h

Production period

1975–1981

In 1975, Volkswagen unveiled a reasonably priced and economical car in the shape of the Polo – ‘A small fellow soon to make it big’, as the sales brochure prophesised at the time, and justifiably so. The large tailgate and the variable boot space made it a popular and versatile vehicle for holidays, shopping trips and everyday use – and yet another successful model produced by Volkswagen. Some consider the Audi 50/Polo designed by Bertone to be the real successor to the Beetle.

Polo I 01
Polo I 02
Polo I 03
Polo I 04

Golf II GL, 1983

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Year of manufacture

1983

Engine

four-cylinder in-line, water-cooled

Power

75 hp / 55 kW

Engine size

1595 cc

Top speed

167 km/h

Production period

1983–1992

The second generation of the Golf entered mass production in June 1983: its design was not too different from that of its predecessor, although it was more aerodynamic, with wider C-pillars and a longer wheelbase. In all, this not only created more space in the interior and boot, but also improved driving comfort. This Golf with Mars red paintwork and grey and black tweed interior is a GL, recognisable from the outside by the chrome trim elements around the bumpers and windows.

Golf II GL 01
Golf II GL 02
Golf II GL 03
Golf II GL 04