The Golf 8 is Here with Mild-Hybridization, Standard Digital Info, Alexa, and More

Volkswagen has finally taken the veil off the Mk8 Golf and they’ve improved it from top to bottom. With new looks, less drag, more screens, and more ways to interact with the car, this is the most advanced Golf to date.

Since this is the European model, the most relevant part to you and me is the look of the thing. A new, slim grille that leads into the LED headlights define the new look. That line, though, follows around the side of the car, forming a single line from grille to belt line to tail lights.

As is Volkswagen’s wont, the new design is deceptively simple. Without the ornate extravagances that define Honda and Toyota designs these days, the new Golf cuts an almost minimalist figure.

Whether or not you like the new design, it’s not just for looks. Volkswagen has cut down the Golf’s coefficient of drag to 0.275, which is just about the same as the Jetta.

The Golf’s dimensions go almost unchanged. At 4,284 mm long, 1,789 mm wide and 1,456 mm high, it’s just 8 mm longer (0.3”), 1 mm thinner (0.03”), and 10 mm higher (0.3”) than the Mk7 Golf.

In Europe, the completely digital interface—digital dashboard and an 8.25-inch center screen—will come as standard. Whether or not that will be the case in America remains to be seen, though whether or not the standard Golf will come to the States at all is still an open question, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Slightly less standard will be the Golf’s new heads up display, which can project information onto the windshield. IQ.DRIVE will also allow adaptive cruise control to work at speeds up to 210 km/h (130 mph). It will even come with Harman Kardon sound, optionally.

Whatever the case, the Golf will have access to all the latest technology, including some stuff that you’d expect to see on higher-priced cars. Features, like voice controls that can lower windows, turn on the heated steering wheel, will combine with Amazon Alexa. That means that you can talk to your car and your smart home and put all of your privacy eggs in that Amazon-shaped basket.

Thanks to all this new technology, VW has also given itself the ability to update itself over the air. Owners will also be able to unlock the car and control it to a certain extent with their smartphone.

Potentially least relevantly of all to us, Volkswagen is promising more efficient engines for the European market. Consumption has been cut by up to 17% thanks to five hybrid options at launch, including eTSI.

The Golf is joining the mild-hybrid crowd with three 48-volt mild-hybrid options that range from 81 kW to 110 kW (109 hp to 147 hp). These will improve stop/start tech and can help run the turbo more efficiently.

A pair of plug-in hybrid versions, meanwhile, should put a little more zip in your zap. A 150 kW (201 hp) PHEV and a 180 kW (241 hp) GTE model will give you instant electric torque off the line and keep things nice and efficient on the highway.

Making all that power are a 1.4-liter TSI engine paired to an electric motor, funneling power through a 6-speed DSG transmission.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a little longer before we find out more about the only two Golfs that have actually been confirmed for the North American market: the GTI and the R.