The Australian launch of Volkswagen’s vital new eighth-generation Golf has been pushed back by around 10 weeks, with the expected arrival time from its German factory now the fourth quarter of 2020.
The news is contrary to what VW told us in March, after news emerged that the Mk8’s global rollout was being nudged back as its maker perfected the highly digitised and fully connected cabin. Better to be a bit late but ‘right’, than on-time and flawed, you might say…
Volkswagen Australia this week confirmed the unfortunate delay of the next iteration of its most important and popular car to us, saying information out of its Wolfsburg headquarters had changed in the interim.
"We get told the timing and try to plan around that,” VW’s local head of product marketing Jeff Shafer told us.
Reports of Mk8 production snags came from Germany’s Bild newspaper via Automotive News, citing highly-placed VW sources. It’s understood they’re of a technical nature, since the Mk8’s cabin technologies are shaping up to be unusually complex for such a mass-scale vehicle.
"It will have more software on board than ever before. It will always be online and its digital cockpit and assistance systems will be the benchmark in terms of connectivity and safety," VW’s compact cars head Karlheinz Hell told the title earlier this year.
"[But] due to their online connectivity there is a lot more software especially in the area of security, which is a real challenge since the car is no longer a closed ecosystem," Volkswagen brand head Jürgen Stackmann said separately.
The Mk8 is expected to arrive in Europe’s dealers at the start of 2020, meaning Australian deliveries will be around 9-10 months later — not an unheard of wait for any European brand, unfortunately. The current seventh-generation Golf arrived in 2013, so seven years ago.
The Australian Mk8 Golf launch will comprise mainstream versions — all petrol-fired — and also the hotted-up GTI, with the even hotter R expected during Q1 of 2021. Mk7.5 production is still ongoing and the company is confident of stock shortfalls covering the gap.
In the interim the company plans to launch a swan-song called the Golf GTI TCR early next year (with 300 units, among the biggest allocations globally) - similar timing to the arrival of the much-needed new T-Roc and T-Cross small crossover SUVs, and a few months after an updated Passat.
We have a lot more information on the Mk8 Golf, ahead of its September/October world premiere, at the following links if you want to know more. Highlights include 48V mild-hybrid tech for Europe and China, and screens galore.