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Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf (Germany, 1974-1984)

Volkswagen > Golf > Gen.1 [Mk1/Rabbit - A1/Typ 17]
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History, Development and General Characteristics

The first generation of the Golf was launched in 1974, starting a new sort of vehicles for Volkswagen: the front wheel drive with front-mounted water-cooled engine cars. It also came out with the purpose of being a substitute for the outdated Beetle, clearly saving Volkswagen from bankruptcy. In 1975, the Mk1 Golf was elected Car of the Year by Wheels magazine.
In the North American automobile markets, the first generation of the Golf was sold as the Rabbit, starting in 1975. From 1978, this car became the first European model ever to be produced in the United States, specifically in Pennsylvania, aiming to reduce costs.
It wasn’t long until Volkswagen launched several versions of the Golf. First came the sports version – Golf GTI, in 1976. Later in that same year, the Golf was responsible for hosting the first VW’s diesel engine. The Cabriolet version came out in 1980. However, the most bought type of Golf was the three-door hatchback – a car-body style that the Golf popularized amongst the C class cars.
Actually, 4 more generations later on, the Golf Mk1 is still being manufactured – that is, the CitiGolf, made only in South Africa.
This has been, for several reasons, one historic car, as the top selling VW model ever.
The Golf was not the very first but yet one of the first models to combine a hatchback design with front-wheel drive and a water-cooled front-mounted engine, along with the brand’s established reputation for reliability both on build-quality and engineering.



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Engine and Transmission

The first Golfs were provided with front-mounted petrol and diesel engines.
Petrol engines ranged between the 1.1L and the 1.8L, with power outputs ranging from 49 to 110hp. As for the diesel engine, there were 1.5L and 1.6L options, with power outputs between 48 and 69hp. The most powerful of the diesel engines was a turbodiesel.
The standard types of transmission were the 4-speed and 5-speed manual, although the customer could optionally choose a 3-speed automatic one.
The Golf Mk1 came with the front wheel drive technology.



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Chassis

  Platform The first-generation Golf is set on a Volkswagen A1 platform.   Suspension The Golf Mk1 was built with a torsion beam suspension, which was stiffer on the GTI version. Concerning the running gear, the front axle includes coil springs, suspension struts and lower wishbones. As for the rear axle, it has coil springs too and combined trailing arm torsion beam.   Steering (no data)   Brakes Golf Mk1’s brakes are built in an hydraulic, diagonally linked dual circuit. In the front part of the car we find discs, and in the back they are self-adjusting drums. The GTI had air-vented disc brakes.



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Body and Design

Italian automobile Giorgetto Giugiaro is the responsible for the first Golf’s design.
The standard GTI version came with alloy wheels, front air dam and special Recaro sport seats. However, alloy wheels were an optional item on the rest of the Golf line, as their standard wheels were the steel-made ones.
Additionally, this car also had a heated rear window, dual manual control mirrors, a glass-mounted interior mirror, childproof locks on the rear doors and a soft grip two-spoke steering wheel (except for the GTI, the last two).



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The very first model created for Volkswagen was the worldwide known Beetle. It was supposed to be a “car for the German people”, des...  more

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