World premiere of the Golf Mk8.5 to mark the 50th anniversary of Golf

50 years of the Golf: global bestseller starts into the future with fast infotainment system and long-range plug-in hybrid drive

  • An anniversary update: 50 years ago, the first of over 37 million Golfs rolled off the production line. The next evolutionary stage now follows with the world premiere of a new Golf
  • New hardware and software: the Golf will be equipped with a next-generation infotainment system with fast processor, intuitive operation and intelligent voice assistant
  • Impressive lighting: the Golf will be equipped with new IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights with high-performance main beam and illuminated Volkswagen logo at the front

The Golf is celebrating its 50th birthday this year – and Volkswagen is launching an enhanced version of its bestseller to mark the anniversary. The new Golf impresses with a next-generation infotainment system, a more intuitive operating concept, a sharper front and rear end design as well as efficient drive systems. In addition, an illuminated Volkswagen logo adorns the front for the first time on a Golf.

Statements about the new Golf

Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars. “The Golf has been at the heart of the Volkswagen brand for half a century now, offering affordable mobility for all at the highest technical level. It has constantly adapted itself to customer needs and has thus become a global bestseller. This is precisely what we are now building on with the latest evolutionary stage of the product line – with even higher efficiency, comfort and quality and a new operating concept. The Golf does not get any better than this.”

Andreas Mindt, Head of Design at Volkswagen Passenger Cars. “The Golf is a design icon. Often imitated, never duplicated. With its visual stability and superior appearance, it is one-of-a-kind in the world of the compact class. Typical Golf design features such as the C-pillars have long been part of Volkswagen’s DNA. The latest Golf exudes absolute clarity and a level of self-confidence that breaks down class barriers. It will be our starting point for 2024 and the source of inspiration for us when developing the design of the Golf of tomorrow.”

Imelda Labbé, Member of the Volkswagen Board of Management for Sales, Marketing and Aftersales: "With Golf, we have written a unique success story. The Golf stands for the Volkswagen brand like no other model. A car for all generations. And this has been the case for 50 years. With the continuous technical development of the new Golf, we are now adding another chapter to this success story."

The New Golf MK8. 52

Revamped front and rear and new light design. The new Golf can be recognised by their new front end. Visually defining features include the Volkswagen logo, which is illuminated for the first time on the Golf, and the newly designed LED headlights. The top-of-the-range IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights incorporate a new high-performance main beam with a range of up to 500 m. The IQ.LIGHT 3D LED tail light clusters in both body versions have also received a new design.

New infotainment landscape and ChatGPT integration. Inside, the model series features a newly developed, intuitive infotainment system with a free-standing touchscreen (screen diagonal up to 32.8 cm). This has ergonomically optimised and illuminated touch sliders for temperature and volume control at its base.

Also new are the enhanced multi-function steering wheel and new IDA voice assistant. Using natural language, the IDA can be used not only to control functions such as the air conditioning, telephone or navigation system, but also to access online information from all conceivable areas – from weather forecasts to general knowledge questions. The Golf will have the latest infotainment system generation on board in future. This integrates the artificial intelligence-based chatbot ChatGPT into the IDA voice assistant. Showcased at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas at the beginning of January, the feature can seamlessly access the ever-growing database of artificial intelligence. Occupants can interact with the car using natural language and have researched content read aloud to them while travelling.

Parking made easy thanks to new assist systems. Manoeuvring the Golf and Golf Variant is made easier by new assist systems such as the enhanced Park Assist Plus function. When driving past a parking space, it can detect whether the space (parallel or bay) is large enough and starts the parking procedure accordingly. It takes over the steering as well as acceleration and braking. All the driver has to do is monitor the parking process. In addition, Park Assist Pro will be available for the Golf for the first time, enabling drivers to guide the vehicle in and out of parking spaces with their smartphone. The vehicle can be driven out of the parking space remotely if the parking space is very narrow, for example. Another new feature is the Area View system – here, a 360-degree all-round view is created by merging four cameras, and the corresponding image is transferred to the infotainment system touchscreen. This makes it easy to see kerbs and parking space markings.

The New Golf MK8. 5 GTI2

50 years of the Golf – the history of the bestseller

The first series-produced Golf was built at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg at the end of March 1974. The official launch began in May. Prior to this, the Beetle and thus the combination of a rear-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive had shaped the Volkswagen brand for decades. At the beginning of the 1970s, the first Golf – like the Passat, the Scirocco and the Polo – marked the start of a new era: that of the front-mounted engine and front-wheel drive. The modern and safe drive system concept, the great flexibility with a tailgate and folding rear seat backrest, and the design were so convincing that the millionth Golf rolled off the assembly line by October 1976.

But that was just the beginning: in the seven generations that followed, it was always the Golf that made affordable mobility with the highest standard of technology open to everyone. It came with technology such as the controlled catalytic converter and efficient drive systems, and additionally offered safety features such as the anti-lock braking system, airbags or the first all-wheel drive system in the product line. The secret behind the Golf’s success is also down to the fact that the designers transferred the first generation’s DNA to its successors, thereby cultivating the classic Golf design.

Comfort, quality and innovative assist systems gained importance with each generation and continue to set standards today. Over the past 50 years, the Golf has become a high-tech compact class all of its own – this even became known as the ‘Golf class’ after just a few years. The model has won countless awards and comparative tests at home and abroad. The Golf was one of the first cars in the segment to offer assisted driving via Travel Assist. Another innovation in the Golf was the debut of Car2X technology, which can provide advance warning of hazards.


1. All images displayed on this page are for illustrative purposes only and may include overseas models, optional equipment and features not available in Australia. Actual vehicles may differ. Please confirm final specifications and features with an authorised Volkswagen Dealer prior to purchase.

2. Near-production concept vehicle. The vehicle is not yet available for sale.