VOLKSWAGEN’s evergreen Golf is the most successful European car for more than four decades and last week a new chapter in the history of this best-seller began with the world premiere of the eighth generation model.

Its makers say never before has a Golf been so progressive and with hybrid versions launched at the same time, it is electrifying the compact class and predicts its digital interior will enable a new dimension of intuitive operation.

It is also the first Volkswagen to use ‘swarm intelligence’ from traffic via Car2X, meaning it can warn against hazards on an anticipatory basis.

Its world premiere took place in Wolfsburg, where the Golf was invented, and where it has been built and refined for the last 45 years.

With the new Golf, Volkswagen has started a hybrid offensive. As the first model of the brand, the eighth Golf will be available in no less than five hybrid drive versions. Its debut also celebrates 48V technology: a belt starter generator, 48V lithium-ion battery and the latest generation of efficient TSI engines form a new mild hybrid drive in the eTSI. Volkswagen will offer the Golf in three eTSI output stages: 81 kW/110 PS, 96 kW/130 PS and 110 kW/150 PS.

The eighth generation of the best-seller will also be available as two plug-in hybrid drive variants. A new efficiency version generates 150 kW/204 PS while the very sporty GTE delivers 180 kW/245 PS. Both Golf versions with plug-in hybrid drives will launch with a new 13 kWh lithium-ion battery on board that enables larger electrically-powered ranges of approximately 60 kilometres, and temporarily turns the Golf into a zero-emissions vehicle.

The drive options for the new Golf also include a petrol (TSI), diesel (TDI) and natural gas drive (TGI), two four-cylinder petrol engines with 66 kW/90 PS and 81 kW/110 PS, two four-cylinder diesel engines with 85 kW/115 PS and 110 kW/150 PS, and a TGI with 96 kW/130 PS. TDI consumption is lowered by up to 17 percent compared with its predecessor.

The new Golf will be available from Decemberwith pricing and final UK spec to be announced.

Oh deer!

THE COMING weeks will see a significant rise in the risk of collisions with deer, warns road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist. This is the rutting season, when deer – particularly fallow and red deer – are more mobile and brings many more of them onto the roads, says GEM.

Figures from the Deer Initiative claim between 42,000 and 74,000 deer are involved in collisions each year on roads in the UK. These events are thought to lead to more than 450 injuries, and up to 20 fatalities each year and industry estimates put the cost of damage to vehicles alone to be at least £11 million.