IF you are a car enthusiast, the chances are you have owned and loved a VW Golf at some time in your motoring history, being as they are one of the biggest selling car models of all time. 

In 1974, the Golf succeeded the legendary Volkswagen Beetle and quickly became a pioneer in its class, and another seven Golf generations followed. The current Golf generation has received a birthday update launched recently at a world premiere to kick off the anniversary year. 

The Golf is the heart of the Volkswagen brand and deserves the title bestseller like hardly any other model. More than 37 million vehicles have been sold across eight generations, and Volkswagen is celebrating the popular model to mark its 50th birthday this year. After all, the Golf has not only shaped mobility in Germany, but also in many other regions all over the world; however, the company is not just looking back as part of the birthday celebrations. 

It was an automotive revolution when Volkswagen presented the first Golf and thus the successor to the legendary Beetle in 1974, with front engine front-wheel drive (instead of rear engine rear wheel drive) and a variable overall concept thanks to the large boot lid and folding rear seat. In addition, the straight-line design created by Giorgetto Giugiaro helped Volkswagen adopt a new style, which was continued in its successors. The Golf quickly became a true Volkswagen and the first million units were sold by as early as 1976. More than 37 million vehicles have been delivered to date, making the compact car the most successful European car, the best-selling Volkswagen of all time, and an icon. 

No matter which generation, the secret of success was and still is the sum of all its characteristics. This is because the Golf has always been a perfect companion for everyday life, embodying versatility, functionality, reliability and quality.  

Over the decades, the portfolio has been expanded to include further variants such as the Golf GTI, Golf Cabriolet, Golf VR6 and Golf Variant. With each new model generation, state-of-the-art technologies, safety concepts and convenience features have been incorporated into the compact class. The Volkswagen Golf has thus democratised not just technologies such as the monitored catalytic converter and anti-lock braking system, but also airbags, cruise control and electronic assist systems as well as plug-in hybrid drives.

In this anniversary year 2024, Volkswagen will present the evolutionary development of the eighth Golf generation. It will impress with visually refined features, new assist systems and powertrains, and also next-generation infotainment systems and software. The Volkswagen Classic will accompany the Golf in its anniversary year and will present historic Golf models from the Volkswagen collection on numerous occasions. The Golf Generations I to VII were on show at Salon Rétromobile in January in Paris and the Golf I and the unique EA 276 concept car were on show at the Bremen Classic Motorshow.

We know that the VW brand has a huge presence in the motor world, but did you know just how big? The Volkswagen brand is present in more than 140 markets worldwide and produces vehicles at 29 ,locations in twelve countries. In 2022, Volkswagen delivered around 4.6 million vehicles including bestsellers such as the Polo, T-Roc, T-Cross, Golf, Tiguan and Passat as well as their successful all-electric models ID.3, ID.4, ID.5 and ID.6. Last year, the company built more than 330,000 all-electric vehicles for customers worldwide. 

It does seem that just like the Golf, VW continues to go from strength to strength.