Tag Archives: mk1 golf

Golf GTI Cabriolet

Just as the Golf GTI spawned many imitators such as the Escort XR3i and the Peugeot 205 GTi , so the success of the Golf Cabriolet pushed rival manufacturers to make open versions of their hot hatches. While the Mk2 Golf has pursued refinement in its chassis and overall deportment, the Carbriolet retains the more raunchy and vibrant feel of the original GTI . Because of this, it remains a better open-air fun car than its direct rivals. The engine of the Cabriolet is smooth, sweet and torquey and, when you have the hood down, the powerful rasp of the exhaust note under hard acceleration adds to the sensation of open-air motoring.

Image of a VW Mk1 Golf Cabriolet
A practical sporting car for open-air enthusiasts, the Golf Cabriolet combines the comforts of a saloon with the fun of a traditional open sports car.

With more weight in the rear, the Cabriolet has a different handling balance from the GTI . Its tuck-in is more pronounced if you lift off the throttle at high cornering speeds and the way to avoid an oversteering situation is to flick the steering wheel straight as you lift off. For an open car converted from a saloon, the VW Cabriolet has good structural rigidity. Scuttle shake is detectable but it is not worrying. Acceleration and top speed are down on the GTI because of the extra weight and the blunter shape, but open-air motoring is not about flat-out driving: it is about enjoying the sights and sounds around you in a car that is tactile, responsive and civilized. The Golf Cabriolet has these attributes in full measure.

©Ian Kuah. This article was published with explicit permission from author Ian Kuah

VW Mk1 Golf GTI Campaign

vw mk1 golf gti campaign

In 1983, with the life of the Volkswagen Mk1 Golf drawing to a close, Wolfsburg produced a limited edition model to boost sales of the GTI in the face of competition from the XR3i and Opel kadett GTE. They launched the car that has become known as the Campaign Golf, which featured a steel sliding sunroof, four headlamp grille, green tint glass, dimpled interior lock pins, genuine leather GTI steering wheel and 6j x 14in Pirelli alloy wheels (also known as ‘P-Slots’) shod with 185/60HR14 p6 tyres.

On the continent these cars had wheel arch trims and bumpers finished in the body colour, leaving only the centre part of the bumper black, while UK-bound cars retained the all-black bumpers and wheel arch trims of the normal GTI.

The Campaign GTIs are much sought after by enthusiasts looking for a late Mk1 Golf.

VW Golf History

Golf Chronology

Mk1 (1974 until 1983)

VW Mk1 Golf Early Small Bumpers Image

The Golf Mk1 was launched in 1974 and is still produced today – albeit extensively modified – as an economically priced entry-level model in South Africa parallel to the current model range. Over 6.8 million units have been produced so far.

1974 – Debut of the first Golf
1976 – 500,000th Golf in March; 1,000,000th Golf in October; First Golf GTI; First Golf with diesel engine
1978 – 2,000,000th Golf in June; Debut of the US version Rabbit in July
1979 – 3,000,000th Golf in September; First Golf Cabriolet; Minor facelift
1982 – 5,000,000th Golf in February; First Golf with turbodiesel engine

Mk2 (1984 until 1992)

VW Mk2 Golf Early Image

The Golf Mk2 followed in 1983, and in the UK the following year. Over 6.3 million units of this generation were produced in ten years – on average approximately 630,000 units per year.

1983 – Debut of the second Golf
1984 – Debut of the second Golf GTI

VW Mk2 Golf Early GTI Image

1985 – 7,000,000th Golf in March
1986 – First Golf (GTI) with 16-valve petrol engine
1987 – ABS available for all GT and GTI models; Minor facelift
1988 – Debut of the Rallye Golf G60 – some LHD examples imported to UK; 10,000,000th Golf in June; 11,000,000th Golf in October
1990 – All Golf petrol models available with closed-loop catalytic converters from February; 1,000,000th Golf GTI in November; 12,000,000th Golf in November

Mk3 (1992 until 1998)

The Golf Mk3, of which 4.8 million units were built, was launched on to the UK market in 1992.

1991 – Debut of the third Golf; First Golf diesel with oxidation catalytic converter; First Golf with six-cylinder engine (VR6); simultaneously; First model in the lower mid-range with a six-cylinder engine
1992 – 13,000,000th Golf in February; Driver and front passenger airbag available from August
1993 – First Golf with turbodiesel direct injection (TDI) engine; Debut of the second Golf Cabriolet; First Golf Estate; 14,000,000th Golf in March
1994 – 15,000,000th Golf in May
1995 – First Golf with naturally aspirated diesel direct injection (SDI) engine
1996 – 20th anniversary of the Golf GTI / anniversary model of the Golf GTI; First Golf GTI with turbodiesel engine; 17,000,000th Golf in November

Mk4 (1998 until 2004)

The Golf Mk4 debuted in 1997, and was launched in the UK in 1998. Over the last seven years until 2003, 4.3 million units of the best-seller were produced and, on average, approximately 614,000 units were sold per year.

1997 – Debut of the first Golf with fully galvanised body; First Golf with five-cylinder engine (V5)
1998 – Debut of the new Golf Cabriolet; First Golf 4MOTION with Haldex viscous coupling; Introduction of optional ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme)
1999 – Second Golf Estate launched; First TDI engines with Pumpe Düse unit-injector technology in the Golf; 19,000,000th Golf in June
2002 – Golf GTI 180 PS launched as special edition marking the 25th anniversary of the Golf GTI in the UK; Production of the Golf overtakes the Beetle; at 21,517,415 units it becomes the most-produced Volkswagen model to date; Debut of the Golf R32, the most powerful in production Golf ever with 241 PS
2002 – becomes the Golf’s best year in the UK to date, with 72,362 units sold, while it also finishes the year as the country’s best-selling diesel car
2003 – End of year: phase-out of the fourth generation Golf after sales of more than 4.3 million units; Frankfurt Motor Show: world premiere of the Golf Mk5
2004 – Golf Mk5 launched on 30 January