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Volkswagen Golf Mk8 revealed

Volkswagen has taken the wraps off its all-new eighth-generation Golf – its most intelligent, connected and electrified yet.

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It is hard to believe that Golf badge is 45 years old, spanning seven generations and with over 35 million sold. Volkswagen plans to continue that success with a number of key innovations for the eighth-generation car.

Firstly, with the move to electrified powertrains, the new Golf will be offered with three 48V mild hybrids, plus a new GTE plug-in hybrid.

If the new Golf’s electrified powertrains aren’t enough, Volkswagen is making bold claims for the rest of the engine choice. For the most efficient of these engines offered, the brand is claiming a reduction in CO2 emissions of almost 20%.

The new Golf can even drive itself, with the ‘Travel Assist’ system, which first debuted on the recently facelifted Passat, available, featuring Level 2 automation up to 120mph – highly illegal in the UK!

Outside, the eighth-generation is still clearly a Golf. From the side, the silhouette looks familiar, with the distinctive shoulder line and thick C-pillar. The biggest design change happens at the front, with the larger LED headlights, which cut back well into the front wings and the narrow front grille. More aerodynamic than before, mainly as a result of the new nose, the lighting signature looks similar to the forthcoming all-electric ID models, which can’t be a coincidence.

If the Golf’s exterior design is an evolution, its interior is somewhat of a revolution in our opinion. The digital cockpit is made up of two digital screens, one for instruments and the other for infotainment. More impressive is that this interior tech is standard across the range.

Elsewhere inside, Volkswagen is promising more personalisation for settings in the Golf than before. Customisable features saveable via the cloud include the instruments, seat and mirror positions, plus air-conditioning settings.

Talking of the infotainment, Amazon Alexa is fully integrated into the new Golf, offering music or weather reports, plus the chance to control compatible appliances at home.

In our opinion, the cleverest tech as standard in the new Golf has to be the ‘Car2X’ communication system. It works by exchanging information between other vehicles and the infrastructure itself and is not just limited to Volkswagen vehicles, as its EU-standard network allows other vehicles from other brands to exchange data about hazards on the road.

The Golf Mk8 arrives in the UK next spring, with familiar S, SE, SEL and R-Line trims available and the single 243bhp GTE being the only plug-in option. Higher-performance GTI, GTD, and R models will follow at a later date.

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Martyn Collins

Martyn has 18 years experience as a motoring journalist, working across a wide selection of B2B and consumer titles. A car enthusiast since his early years, Martyn has a particular interest in the latest models and technology and in his spare time enjoys driving his own Minis.