40 YEARS OF THE FRESH AIR GENERATION: VOLKSWAGEN AT THE BREMEN CLASSIC MOTORSHOW
|1976 Volkswagen Golf I Cabriolet prototype|
Wolfsburg – The Bremen Classic Motorshow traditionally kicks off the classic season, and Volkswagen Classic is celebrating an anniversary: four decades of the Golf Cabriolet. From prototype to production – under the slogan “40 Years of Sunny Outlooks”, two exhibits from the company’s own automobile collection at Volkswagen Osnabrück tell of the start of a success story.
40 Years of Sunny Outlooks: The Golf Cabriolet success story
“Sun, Moon and Cabriolet” is the advertising slogan when Volkswagen launches the topless variant of the Golf I in 1979. Manufacture of the joint development between Volkswagen and Karmann starts on 14 February 1979 in Osnabrück. As the legitimate successor to the famous Beetle Cabriolet, the open Golf has big shoes to fill – and wastes no time in filling within a short time of its launch, as shown in the sales figures.
The next fresh air generation
The successor is launched in July 1993: the Golf III Cabriolet, based on the technology used in the third generation of the saloon. Volkswagen once again opts for the striking central roll bar. The car features the same gains in terms of rigidity and safety in case of the car rolling, while systems like the automatically-deployed roll bar are not yet available. When opened, the roof now sits lower down. The generation leap is unmistakable. The Golf III Cabriolet comes equipped with double airbags, ABS and side impact protection as standard. The new topless Golf is another great success for Karmann and Volkswagen: 139,578 units roll off the production line by 1997. In 1998, the Golf III Cabriolet is given a facelift. With a few clever tweaks to the chassis design, the Golf III Cabriolet becomes the Golf IV Cabriolet. Production of the Golf Cabriolet in Osnabrück ends in 2001.
New edition of the open-air Golf
After a ten-year hiatus, the new Cabriolet, based on the sixth generation of Golf, rolls off the production line at Volkswagen’s new plant in Osnabrück on 17 March 2011. The new Cabriolet does not feature the fixed roll bar. It is replaced by roll-over protection that is deployed in a fraction of a second. A reinforced windscreen frame, additional structural modifications and various airbags ensure a high level of safety. The first Golf GTI Cabriolet is launched in 2012, followed in 2013 by the first Golf R Cabriolet. The era of the open-top Golf ends in 2016, after the manufacture of 770,039 cars.
“Or do you know of another cabriolet of this kind?“
What Volkswagen confidently promoted as being contemporary in one advert is now celebrating a major anniversary in 2019: 40 years of open-top Golf joy. The second Volkswagen Classic exhibit is all about these four decades of the fresh air generation. The early Golf I Cabriolet, in rare Capri Blue, will inevitably stir up that summer, sun and cabriolet feeling in many a fan in Bremen.
Hall 5: Connected by tradition
The Golf Cabriolets of Volkswagen Classic and other exhibits from throughout Volkswagen’s history can be seen in Hall 5 from 1 to 3 February. Volkswagen Classic is presenting itself alongside Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Oldtimers, Audi Tradition, Volkswagen Classic Parts, and the 1. Käferclub (Beetle Club) Wolfsburg, under the motto “Connected by tradition”.
About the Volkswagen brand:
Volkswagen Passenger Cars operates in more than 150 markets worldwide and produces vehicles at more than 50 locations in 14 countries. In 2018, Volkswagen produced around 6.24 million vehicles, including bestsellers such as the Golf, Tiguan, Jetta and Passat. Volkswagen has a current workforce of 198,000 employees around the globe. Added to this are more than 7,700 dealerships with 74,000 employees.
Volkswagen is forging ahead consistently with the further development of automobile production. Electric mobility, smart mobility and digital transformation of the brand are the key strategic issues for the future.