Table of contents:
- You will not envy the Volkswagen concern: first, the Germans were staged a demonstrative whipping with Dieselgate, and then, along with the others, they threw them onto the rails along which a crazy ecological train with the face of Greta Thunberg was racing. Five years ago, that would have sounded like nonsense, but the giant's survival now depends on the success of the electric ID family, and it is clear that all possible resources are now directed to this very place. Invest in the development of conventional cars? Sorry, not right now. Or maybe never
You will not envy the Volkswagen concern: first, the Germans were staged a demonstrative whipping with Dieselgate, and then, along with the others, they threw them onto the rails along which a crazy ecological train with the face of Greta Thunberg was racing. Five years ago, that would have sounded like nonsense, but the giant's survival now depends on the success of the electric ID family, and it is clear that all possible resources are now directed to this very place. Invest in the development of conventional cars? Sorry, not right now. Or maybe never
Here are some numbers: by 2022, all VW AG brands will have a total of 27 electric models, with a total circulation of one million units per year. By 2025, already 20 varieties of electric cars are planned for Volkswagen alone - with the same millionth circulation. Further specifics are not called, but the vector is clear. And if you keep in mind that electrification concerns primarily urban cars, a simple conclusion suggests itself: if the plan works, there will be no need to create the next generation of Golf. And if it doesn’t work, there’s nothing.
In addition, the third emperor of Wolfsburg has already been officially proclaimed: after the Beetle the Great and Golf the Impeccable, Ayditri Battery ascends the throne, and the transfer of power should go as smoothly as possible. The eighth Golf will look after the heir a little more and retire, and the Germans seem to have made it the most controversial in history on purpose - to save us from regrets. After all, you will have to say goodbye not to the standard of the class and everyone's favorite, but to an indistinct and strange old man.
Okay, this is me romanticizing and trying to find excuses where there are none. In fact, Volkswagen engineers made some very strange mistakes when working on the ID.3 and its future relatives, and Golf just fell into the meat grinder of unification and economy. Having received essentially the same interior as that of ID, only in a different design, it lost one of its main advantages - reference ergonomics.
Why do I say that? Because this whole sensory economy is completely unsuitable for life.
Yes, alarm bells rang out in the interior of the new Tuareg, but there are still more physical keys, and the giant 15-inch "TV" slightly straightens the situation. Simply because all functions, albeit virtualized, are more or less at hand. Here is a quiet horror.
The multimedia itself resembles the Tuareg one, and it is good: smart, beautiful and in most cases nimble, and periodic glitches and slowdowns on duty are attributed to the fact that we are testing "cars from early batches". And in general - updates now arrive "by air", so soon the software will probably be optimized. But the curve of the ergonomic logic of the Golf will not fix it.
If you want to change the volume or temperature, aim at the thin touch strips under the screen. They react not only to touches, but also to "swipe", but the trouble is: it is normal to use them only in statics, and on the move with one movement it is almost impossible to get what you want. Found yourself near a smelly truck and want to quickly turn on recirculation? Easily! We take our eyes off the road, look for a touch key at the bottom of the front panel, aim, press (press again - it worked!), Refocus on the central display, look for an icon there, aim …
The same is with the choice of driving modes, electronic driving assistants and parking assistants: you have to turn to different zones of the front panel one by one, and every time you have doubts whether it will work or not? And again, the exact same fittings are used on the ID.3, so the concepts of "Volkswagen" and "reference ergonomics" are separated for at least several years. It looks like a digital dystopia, "Black Mirror" in the car industry, looks exactly like that.
Would you say that these are all belated complaints of a person who has missed a new sensory reality? No, the rest of the companies manage to somehow balance: Mercedes-Benz and BMW retain physical keys and separate media controllers, Audi and Jaguar Land Rover rely on additional large displays, and Volvo and Tesl have giant tablets that work exactly like tablets at their disposal. And only Volkswagen, striving to make it both fashionable and cheap, has completely forgotten about convenience - a dubious example that will probably also turn out to be contagious.
Marketers' counter-arguments sound unconvincing. Have the new generation drivers grown up with smartphones in their hands and consider buttons an anachronism? Let them first use the sensors on the move and blindly, and then ask the older brothers how they stuffed SMS from under their desks on old Nokia.
Does Volkswagen, like others, have an intelligent voice assistant? But I want to listen to my favorite music instead of communicating with digital intelligence for every sneeze. The eighth Golf is equipped with advanced active safety systems, so it is now less risky to get distracted from the road? Sorry, but I don't believe the electronics, which are still floating in the strip and braking in front of obstacles.
In theory, at the age of 32, I find myself in the core of Golf's target audience, but I'm not comfortable with him. And the buzzers will be simply bored
Because outside of the "low-poly", as if not sunk to the end of the front panel, this is, in fact, the same Golf of the seventh generation - familiar, tactile and thoughtful. The materials are still of high quality, the fit is impeccable, the trunk is functional, and the inhabitants of the second row will not notice any difference at all, apart from the appearance of their own climate zone. Maybe if you once set up all the on-board electronics for yourself and never turn to the sensors again, the new Golf will not be so bad?
Quite good! But only because it is built on the basis of a predecessor, whose genetics are difficult to spoil. Although some innovations are trying to do this: for example, adaptive shock absorbers received as many as 15 modes of operation, and in the softest they even allow vertical swing on gentle waves. But if you do not indulge, and ride, you leave the slider somewhere between "comfort" and "norm." It will turn out plump and at the same time unobtrusive: almost like on the seventh Golf, only … The smallest rattlesnake, or something. As if the car had lost some of its many years of experience in working out irregularities.
On the positive side, the shock absorbers and the differential lock simulation are controlled by the same "brains", and you can feel it during active driving. At the entrance to the turn, the struts are tightened, then the inner ones become softer so that the unloaded wheels maintain contact with the asphalt, selective biting of the brakes helps the process - and as a result, the Golf writes an arc surprisingly tenaciously and stably, not arranging trajectory dances even on difficult terrain.
The organizers very successfully brought cars of all previous generations to the test, and I could not help but pull out the seventh Golf for comparison. And in the same corners that the new hatch passed with the poker face, the old one regularly bothered the stabilization system, which was forced to stop the skid.
Does this mean that the eighth generation Golf rides better? Rather, more efficient
Even in Sport mode, the steering wheel is noticeably lighter than before, but the main problem is different: it now has much less feedback. The test cars are equipped with optional progressive grooved rails providing just two turns from lock to lock, and a sharp, responsive steering wheel is what you need on Portuguese serpentines. But due to the lack of information, it turns out to go fast, but not to get high. Although the seventh generation hatch caused just such emotions.
Some colleagues complain about the step between "fast" and "slow" response, but it seems that this is an individual matter: nothing bothered me, and the effect is certainly not as pronounced as on similar systems from BMW.And yes, you are absolutely right: discussing such nuances is absolutely meaningless in the context of Golf.
And in the context of Russian versions, it is useless to talk about dynamics as well. The Golf 8 will come to us somewhere in a year and will receive power units that are not provided for in Europe in principle. This is a localized 110-horsepower 1.6 aspirated engine (yes, engines will be delivered to Wolfsburg from Kaluga!) And the equally familiar 1.4 TSI with 150 horsepower. An unexpected twist: the engines will be combined with conventional hydromechanical "automatic machines" for six and eight stages, respectively. No DSGs!
These are joyful, because the turbo engine 1.5 TSI Evo, which is relevant for the rest of the world, develops the same 150 forces, frankly does not pull. Even according to the passport, the new Golf accelerates to a hundred, three dozen slower than the old one - in 8.5 seconds. But in reality it is impossible to get rid of the feeling that the engine is strangled: it pulls sluggishly, almost with shortness of breath, and overtaking after 120 kilometers per hour turns into an outright gamble. It used to be better? Perhaps.
And this is about the whole Volkswagen Golf. Chasing sensory fashions, crushed by environmentalists and escaped into the shadows of the ID.3, he ceased to be himself - the most comfortable and thoughtful car in its class. If this approach is extended to all new Volkswagens, the Germans may find themselves in a very unpleasant situation, and, in contrast to the orchestrated Dieselgate, this is entirely their own fault.
Although I am more afraid of another scenario: if it turns out that such machines are exactly what the digital society needs.