Volkswagen Golf Mk1

Volkswagen Golf Mk1

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Volkswagen Golf Mk1

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Description:
In May 1974, Volkswagen presented the first-generation Golf as a modern front-wheel-drive, hatchback replacement for the Volkswagen Beetle.

History

Like its predecessor the Volkswagen Beetle, the Volkswagen Golf Mk1 has proven to be influential. In continuous production since 1974, the Golf was one of the first widely successful front-wheel drive hatchbacks. In the USA, the Morris Mini, Honda N360 and Fiat 128 saw only limited success, but it was the Rabbit, along with the Honda Civic that sparked another generation of European-derived front-wheel drive American compacts, such as the Dodge Omni, Escort and Cavalier in the 1980s, just as the Beetle inspired Falcon and Corvair in 1960s and subcompact Vega and Pinto in the 1970s.



Replacing the Beetle was a vital goal for Volkswagen's continued survival. By the early 1970s, the company had fallen into financial difficulties and Beetle sales began to decline sharply. Water cooled, front-engine, rear-wheel drive small cars began enjoying customer loyalty.

The solution arrived with Auto Union. They had attracted a small following with their technologically advanced Audi front wheel drive medium sedans. Volkswagen had acquired the Ingolstadt-based company in 1964 from Daimler-Benz. Audi's expertise in water-cooled engines and front-wheel drive would be essential in developing a new generation of Volkswagens. FWD offered more performance with lighter weight and more room in a smaller...
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