Countdown to Golf update in November: The Fourth Golf - The style icon of the series​


  • Clear design of the Golf MkIV is considered groundbreaking
  • ESC celebrated its breakthrough in the fourth generation of the Golf

Wolfsburg, 26 October 2016 – In 1997, the Golf MkIV was created under the direction of the Volkswagen Group Head of Design Hartmut Warkuß (1993 to 2003). Today, the fourth generation is considered a style icon – particularly because of its graphic clarity and fundamental C-pillar series design forming a bridge to the 1974 Golf MkI. However, the Golf MkIV was not only pioneering in terms of its looks, it was groundbreaking in its engineering as well. Volkswagen achieved a totally new standard of quality in this market segment with this car and thus became the first manufacturer to overcome vehicle class boundaries. With the debut of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) in the Golf (1998), the car continued to democratise safety. By 2003, 4.99 million units of the Golf MkIV, including all of its derivatives, had been produced.

Retrospective, 1997: Robbie Williams was transformed from a teen idol into a worldwide star with the song and slogan “Let me entertain you”; Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio wrote film history with the US premiere of “Titanic”; and Volkswagen presented the fourth generation of the Golf – in terms of design, the purest and clearest yet. Hartmut Warkuß says, “the Golf is a monument. A car that seamlessly followed in the footsteps of the globally successful Beetle. It made good sense to reinforce the company strategy in an evolutionary rather than revolutionary way. It is important to demonstrate a high degree of continuity.” And that's exactly what Warkuß did with the fourth Golf. However, nothing is copied from the Golf MkIII. On the contrary, not a single body panel of the entirely redesigned new Golf generation was taken over from its predecessor. The front window is flatter, the rear window is steeper, the roof extends even further back. Even Giorgio Giugiaro, creator of the first Golf design back in 1974, expressed his admiration for the new car: “The genetic material of the Golf is still evident in its fourth generation.”