CHICAGO Ė The year was 1975, and Jungle Boogie was on the charts. Atariís Gran Trak 10, a racing video, was all the rage among gamers, and VW, maker of the lovable bug, debuted the VW Rabbit to America, known as the Golf everywhere else in the world.
Not sure why VW thought that Rabbit was a better name than Golf for a car that really didnít go so fast. But it didnít seem to matter, though. Over the years, Americans and Europeans have made the Golf the second best-selling car in the world, selling more than 24 million copies. Either you owned one or knew someone who did. And they probably had an eight-track tape of the Rolling Stones.
Thirty-plus years later, things havenít really changed so much. True, music delivery is vastly different, but the tunes are the same (see: Rolling Stones), and a good car is still a good car, which will likely make the 2007 VW Golf a big seller when it comes to the US this June. Priced at about the same as the outgoing model, the Golf will offer a boatload of features, because, well, one thing has changed: people want more car for their money now, they want the thing to run, and they want safe, and comfortable, cars. Judging from the show floor, where all things are beautiful, the Golf delivers. Coming in June of 2006 are two-door and four-door variants, each with standard features such as four-wheel disc and Anti-lock Brakes (ABS), traction control, front and rear side curtain airbags for head protection, and front side airbags. The Golf will ride on 15-inch wheels, with 16-inchers optional. Perhaps more significant changes go on underneath, however: the 2007 VW Golf has a fully independent suspension, and a 2.5-liter, five cylinder engine that generates 150 horsepower and is mated to a standard five-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic will be available as an option.
Volkswagen also announced that the Touareg TDI will be available this fall, and that they also plan to debut the VW Eos convertible to the US this fall.
Photo by Ron Perry