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Volkswagen Golf I
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Volkswagen Golf GTI.jpg

Volkswagen Golf/Volkswagen Rabbit/Volkswagen Caddy/Volkswagen Citi Golf/Volkswagen Citi/Volkswagen Citigolf (EA337/Typ 17). 1974–2009 (prod. 6,986,458, incl. 315,000 for Citi to 2006). 3- and 5-door saloon, 2-door convertible, 2-door pick-up. F/F, 1093, 1272, 1423, 1457, 1471, 1588, 1595, 1716, 1780, 1781 cm³ petrol, 1471, 1588 cm³ diesel (I4 OHC). Giugiaro-designed Käfer replacement was a radical, modern departure, with boxy looks and front-wheel drive. Golf became an instant hit with its hatchback body and practicality, proving far more refined than most of its rivals at the time, which included Ford Escort Mk I and the Simca 1100. Sold as Rabbit in the US, where it was also built for a time, Caribe in México, and eventually became the entry-level VW in South Africa, where it is commonly known as the Citi Golf, variously badged CitiGolf, Citigolf or Citi. (Chico, Citi.com and Life models were offered as part of the range.) Cabriolet was designated Typ 155. German production ceased in 1983 in favour of Golf II; South African production from 1978 (assembly), with full production using US tooling after 1984 model year. Golf II-style nose from 1990. Front quarterlight windows gone in 2003. New dashboard from Škoda Fabia in 2004, another facelift in 2006. Market share for Citi Golf began decreasing in the late 2000s, with production finishing at the end of 2009. Last 1,000 limited edition dubbed Citi Mk I, priced at R113,500.

Manufacturing locations: Wolfsburg, Germany; New Stanton, Pennsylvania, USA; Uitenhage, South Africa

Marque: Volkswagen | Model: Volkswagen Golf | Predecessors: Volkswagen Käfer (1960–80), Volkswagen 1303 | Successors: Volkswagen Golf II, Volkswagen Polo Vivo (2010–18)


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Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024