VW Golf Finally Meets Its End: UK Free Moped Specialist and Volkswagen Coverage Quote on VW

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VW Golf Finally Meets Its End

Volkswagen Golf Citi

It’s over: Production of the first-generation VW Golf has ended after 35 years. The last units have rolled off the production line in Uitenhage, near Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in the past weeks, but the car will be available as long as supplies last - likely until early 2010, VW South Africa announced today.

A total of 517,000 of the so-called Citi Golfs were produced in South Africa, and its immense popularity has made it a common sight up to this day on the Cape. The same car was produced locally at VW’s former Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, plant as the (excessively Americanized) Rabbit.

It is no exaggeration to say that the Mk I Golf has saved Volkswagen. Launched in Germany in 1974, the first-generation Golf quickly replaced the Beetle as the number one selling car, and it defined the brand for many years to come. It was noted for its angular and timeless design, penned by Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro and only slightly softened by VW’s German styling department. The Golf’s styling and architecture inspired many other cars in the category it came to define, including the Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon and the sharp-edged Lancia Delta, which is perhaps closest in styling to what Giugiaro originally had in mind.

The first-generation Golf was one of the lightest cars in its segment, and from 1976 on, it offered perhaps the first diesel that was not just economical but actually somewhat fun to drive. In 1979, a convertible was added, 1982 saw the launch of the GTD, a smooth and agile turbo-diesel. But the most significant derivative was the GTI, launched in 1976 and arguably the ultimate hot hatch. It turned the automotive hierarchy in Europe upside own, becoming the ultimate classless car. In Hamburg, Paris, or London, if you were cool and successful, you simply had to have a black GTI.

The Cabriolet and a pickup version called Caddy carried on for many years after the Mk I Golf was replaced by the bloated Mk II, but ultimately South Africa became the refuge of the accomplished all-rounder. While safety advocates kept wailing about the supposedly outdated Citi, customer demand remained strong. Up until the end, the production level remained at 20,000 to 25,000 units annually.

VW South Africa has kept updating the car carefully. Over the years, the front end was slightly tilted, the C-pillar gained a crease, and the taillights were modernized. Five years ago, a modern dashboard was added. In 2006, VW launched the limited-production R version of the Citi. Rated at 122 hp, it was the most powerful Golf I ever made. Just recently, a retro-styled GTS version was added; and the last 1000 units are called Citi Mk 1. They are equipped with partial leather seats, an aluminum golf-ball shifter, gunmetal gray aluminum wheels, GTI-style bodyside stickers, and a polished dual exhaust.

We’re sorry to see the Golf I go, making room for more modern, and certainly more boring, product.

Related posts:

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  3. 2010 Volkswagen Golf – First Drive Review
  4. 2010 Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion Diesel – Auto Shows
  5. 2010 Volkswagen Golf/ Rabbit GTI - Official Photos and Info – car News

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VW Golf Finally Meets Its End
VW Golf Finally Meets Its End

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Volkswagen Coverage Quote on VW

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