We take cars such as the Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Golf for granted. They are part of the fabric of motoring, but do we ever get excited bout them? No. Of course they have been quite dull over the years, but the fact of the matter is they continue to rack up record sales like few others.
Take the Golf – first made back in March 1974.
Since then, believe it or not, a new one has been ordered, without interruption, somewhere in the world, every 41 seconds.
For the figure lovers among us, that’s around 780,000 vehicles a year and translates into 35m sold worldwide since production of the ‘Golf I’ started at the Wolfsburg plant
Few would have bet on that, even within Volkswagen, as the Golf took on the mantle of successor to the Beetle.
I wonder how many of today’s cars will ever get near that. You never know, I suppose. Will it be a Tesla? A Merc? A Beemer? Or will they be making cars at all in 2074?
Back in August 1974, meanwhile, first deliveries of the ‘new’ Golf began. There were 2dr and 4dr versions of the five-seater; there was a foldable rear bench and 300 litres of a boot.
Power was provided by two petrols: a 1.1-litre 4cyl (50PS) and a 1.5-litre 4cyl 70PS.
It was front-wheel drive, had a 4spd manual gearbox with a 3spd automatic optional. Maximum speed was 140kmh and 160kmh respectively.
* From yesterday to tomorrow: Audi will show their AI:me new design study (pictured below) at Shanghai Motor Show on April 15.
The concept points to Audi’s take on what an automated compact car could look like for the ‘megacities’ of the future. Will there be an order every 41 seconds? Time will tell.
* Renault will roll out a facelifted version of the Megane later this year. There will, for the first time, be a hybrid option.
It’s expected the revised car will be shown at September’s Frankfurt motor show and be on early next year.
* Alfa Romeo’s GTV coupé is due to be unveiled in 2021. The marque’s five-year strategy promises several new models as well as the re-introduction of older names.
* Jaguar Land Rover plans to recover aluminium from end-of-life vehicles, melt it down and reform into material for new model production.
Their new recycling scheme is part of a drive to cut waste and emissions all through car production.