We’ve been fans of wagons for as long as we can remember, so hearing rumors about the demise of the long-roof Volkswagen Golf is a bad way to start the week. The eighth generation of Wolfsburg’s best seller is inching closer as production of the model has been confirmed to start in June 2019. That means an official debut will take place a few months sooner, quite possibly at the Geneva Motor Show in March. VW is spending big bucks to get everything ready for the Golf VIII, which might forgo a couple of body styles.
According to a report published by Autocar today, VW has plans to simplify the Golf’s range by axing the three-door version. That doesn’t come as a big surprise since more and more automakers are ditching this body style as a consequence of poor customer demand, with people favoring models that have rear doors for easier entrance / exit.
What comes as somewhat of a shock is VW’s yet-to-be-confirmed decision to drop the wagon body style as well. We’re honestly finding this hard to believe, especially since the demise of the Variant would also spell the end of the Alltrack.
According to the same report, engineers are putting the Golf on a diet to lose approximately 50 kilograms (110 pounds) by making more generous use of lightweight thanks to an evolution of the MQB platform. The weight loss is quite impressive considering VW wants to make the hatchback wider and with a longer wheelbase to free up more room inside the cabin where the cargo area is expected to expand as well.
More expensive versions of the Golf will do without most of the conventional buttons and knobs by making use of touchscreens from where the driver will access the vast majority of the controls. Autocar reports VW might replace the oh-so-familiar headlight switch with a touchpad.
As far as engines are concerned, today’s 1.5-liter TSI with cylinder deactivation tech will be carried over and is going to be offered alongside a newly developed three-cylinder 1.0-liter unit. Thanks to a belt-driven starter/generator motor (SGM) providing additional horsepower and torque, VW might offer this smaller engine without having to install a turbocharger.
VAG still sees a future for diesels and that’s why an all-new 2.0 TDI is in the works with lower emissions and fuel consumption. It will boast a more responsive turbocharger and is said to pack nine percent more horsepower and torque compared to today’s diesel while boosting efficiency. Audi will be the first automaker from the group to use this engine, which is being developed with multiple outputs varying from 135 to 201 hp.
In typical Golf fashion, exterior styling will be evolutionary and rumor has it VW’s design team has come up with a sharper body. Some spy shots (pictured below) have emerged already, but these are showing an early test mule using the current-gen model’s body. We will probably have to wait a few more months to see the Golf VIII testing with its production-ready body.