|Body and chassis|
The Volkswagen Gol is a subcompact car manufactured by Volkswagen do Brasil since 1980 as Volkswagen's entry-level car in the South American market—where it succeeded the South American Volkswagen Beetle (Fusca). Variants of the Gol were marketed in North America as the Volkswagen Fox from 1987 to 1993.
The Gol has been the best-selling car in Brazil for 26 years straight (since 1987) as well as in Argentina since 1988, with over 5 million manufactured in South America since 1980. In March 2013 it was announced that cumulative production of the Gol and its derivatives (Voyage, Saveiro, Parati) had reached 10 million units. It takes its name from the Portuguese word for goal.
- 1 Body styles
- 2 First generation (1980–1994)
- 3 Second generation (1994–present)
- 4 Third generation (2008–present)
- 5 Safety
- 6 Gallery
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The Gol family comprises many body styles:
A three and five-door hatchback which takes the name VW Gol in most countries; in Mexico, Egypt and Russia it has been called the VW Pointer. The first-generation Gol was offered only as a three-door; a five-door version was added for 1997.
A sedan produced only for the first and current (fifth) generation. The Brazilian-built two-door and four-doors sedans were called the VW Voyage and Argentinian-built ones VW Gacel; the nameplate VW Fox was used in the United States and Canada. After a facelift in 1991, Argentinian-built models were renamed the VW Senda. For the second generation this model was replaced by the Volkswagen Polo Mk 3 Classic, which is still sold in Mexico and Argentina. But a new Voyage notchback sedan returned in 2008, for the G5 generation.
VW Parati is a station wagon built on both generations since May 1982. The Parati I was a three-door sold in North America as the Fox Wagon. The second-generation Parati is sold in Argentina as the Gol Country. A five-door version was added in 1997 and the three-door version was dropped after the first facelift (G3). It is named after Paraty, a city on the southern coast of Rio de Janeiro state. It was formerly called Pointer Station Wagon in Mexico and it was sold there between 1999 and 2005. It is rumored this model will be discontinued for the G5 generation.
VW Saveiro is a lightweight pickup truck. All Gol generations have been sold with this bodystyle, which was introduced to the market in 1983. It is named after a traditional Brazilian fishing boat. It is currently sold in Mexico since 1999 as the Pointer Pick Up.
The VW Furgão is a lightweight panel van based on the Gol.
First generation (1980–1994)
|First generation (G1)|
|Also called||Volkswagen Fox
|Assembly||São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Nueva Palmira, Uruguay
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||3-door hatchback
3-door station wagon
2-door coupé utility
|Platform||Volkswagen Group BX platform|
|Engine||1.0 L I4 (gasoline)
1.3 L H4 (gasoline)
1.5 L I4 (gasoline)
1.6 L H4 (gasoline)
1.8 L I4 (gasoline)
2.0 L I4 (gasoline)
1.6 L I4 (diesel )
|Wheelbase||2,358 mm (92.8 in)|
|Length||Hatchback: 3,810 mm (150.0 in)
Sedan/wagon: 4,150 mm (163.4 in)
Pick-up: 4,060 mm (159.8 in)
|Width||Hatchback/sedan: 1,600 mm (63.0 in)
Wagon/pick-up: 1,622 mm (63.9 in)
|Height||Hatchback/sedan: 1,363 mm (53.7 in)
Wagon/pick-up: 1,385 mm (54.5 in)
The Gol was released in 1980 to replace the Brasilia, which was in turn a replacement to the Beetle in the Brazilian market. It was based on its own unique BX platform derived from the existing VW/Audi B1 and B2 platforms. With a design specific to Latin America, the Gol featured the 1.3-liter air-cooled, flat-four engine from the Beetle, but front-mounted. A 1.6-litre engine was added later. The Voyage two-door sedan variant of the Gol was released in June 1981 and received a 1.5 litre inline watercooled gasoline engine instead. The same engine was offered with an ethanol option. In 1985, the air-cooled engine of the Gol was replaced by a 1.6-litre (and later 1.8-litre as well) longitudinally-mounted water-cooled gasoline inline-four engine from the Passat. By May 1982 the Voyage 1.5 was upgraded to 1.6. In 1984 a watercooled Voyage 1.8 ("Super") was launched as a higher level option. A 1.6-litre Diesel engine was made, although only for export as diesel engines are not allowed in passenger cars in the Brazilian market.
In January 1983 a four-door Voyage sedan was released. It was known as the VW Amazon in some export markets, later as the Fox in North America. The four-door Voyage was built in the Autolatina Pacheco factory in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 1983 to 1994. It was sold under the name Gacel (later also as the Senda) with the Argentine-built 1.6 OHC engine with a carburettor, later also with a diesel 1.6.
The first generation (or "G1") Gol had two mild facelifts in 1987 and 1991. The 1988 Gol GTi was the first Brazilian-built car to use fuel injection. The 2.0-liter inline-four engine was the same used by the Santana. In 1991, as a result of changes to the tax laws in Brazil, a flurry of cars with engines under one litres appeared. Fiat was first (with the Fiat Mille), and Volkswagen quickly responded with the spartan Gol 1000. It had a Ford-developed 997 cc engine (a result of their recent Autolatina joint venture) with 50 hp and was not available in any other bodystyle. Between 1991 and 1995 the Ford CHT 1.6 replaced the original 1.6 in the range, also as a result of the Autolatina lineup.
GT 1.8 (1984–1986)
The Gol GT 1.8 was the BX family's first sports version and an answer to the Ford Escort XR3, a successful sports car in Brazilian market. With a 1.8 liter engine borrowed from Santana (MkII Passat), the Gol GT was much faster than the Escort XR3, but externally did not have the same beauty. The first series still had a four-speed manual gearbox, but soon this was changed to a five-speed unit.
GTS 1.8 (1987–1994)
Successor of Gol GT, the GTS had an updated design, following the new 87 BX line up style and also featuring new accessories that were not available before, such as rear spoiler and side skirts. The 1.8 liter engine produced 94 hp (70 kW) running on gasoline or 99 hp (74 kW) running on ethanol. The GTS was a very successful model and was kept in production alongside with the upcoming GTI.
GTI 2000 (1989–1994)
Known as the first Brazilian built car equipped with electronic fuel injection, the Gol GTI was presented in January 1989 and featured a larger 2.0 liter engine with power of 111 PS (82 kW) running only on gasoline. Claimed top speed is 185 km/h (115 mph). This engine was the same as used in the larger Santana, albeit fitted with fuel injection for the GTI.
Volkswagen Group of America marketed variants of the Gol (manufactured by Volkswagen do Brasil) in North America as entry level models from 1987-93 under the Volkswagen Fox nameplate. Initially offered as a two-door and four-door sedan as well as a two-door wagon, the wagon was discontinued for model year 1991 along with the two-door sedan for the Canadian market. That same year the remaining Fox versions received a mild restyling.
Early models (1987–1989) featured Bosch CIS-E type Jetronic electro-mechanical fuel injection, using an oxygen sensor to assist in fuel management. Later models (1990–1993) employed Bosch Digifant electronic fuel injection. In Canada from 1987–1989 it was offered with the simpler Bosch CIS fuel injection system without an oxygen sensor for the engine fuel management system.
Over the course of its model history, trim levels included base Fox, GL, GTS, GLS, GL Sport, Polo, and a Wolfsburg Edition. Options included air conditioning, five-speed (vs. four) manual transmission and metallic paint. No automatic transmission was offered. The GL trim featured revised cloth trim, rear license plate backing, ceiling-mounted map light, glove compartment light, trunk light, tachometer (excepting wagon models), body-coloured bumpers, hubcaps, passenger side exterior rear view mirror, 175/70-13 tires, locking gas cap and three-point rear seat belts.
The 1991 facelift included revised grill, headlights, turn signals, badges, and hubcaps—as well as reduction of towing hooks to two from four. Later North American models featured "automatic" non-motorized front seat shoulder belts along with a knee-bar and manual front lap belts.
Second generation (1994–present)
|Second generation (G2/G3/G4)|
|Also called||Volkswagen Parati
|Assembly||São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil
General Pacheco, Argentina
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||3/5-door hatchback
3/5-door station wagon
2-door coupé utility
|Engine||1.0 L AE-1000 I4
1.0 L AT-1000 8/16V I4
1.0 L AT-1000 turbo I4
1.6 L AP-1600 I4
1.8 L AP-1800 I4
2.0 L AP-2000 I4
1.9 L diesel I4
|Wheelbase||Hatchback/st. wagon: 2,470 mm (97.2 in)
Pick-up: 2,600 mm (102.4 in)
|Length||Hatchback: 3,930 mm (154.7 in)
Station wagon: 4,190 mm (165.0 in)
Pick-up: 4,450 mm (175.2 in)
|Width||1,640 mm (64.6 in)|
|Height||1,420 mm (55.9 in)|
The second generation (or "G2") Gol, known as Project AB9 during development, debuted in September 1994. Still based on the BX platform, it was very different from the earlier model, with an updated body and longer wheelbase than the 1980 original. Nicknamed "Gol Bolinha" (roughly "Rounded Gol" or "Bubble Gol"), the previous generation started to be nicknamed as "Gol Quadrado", "Squared Gol". The new version was an answer to the then newly released Chevrolet Corsa.
The Gol G2 was available in the following versions: 1000i, 1000i Plus, CL, GL, Furgão (Wagon) and GTi (this one produced until 1996 with only a 8V engine, at which point a more powerful, German-built 16-valve version arrived), with 1.0, 1.6, 1.8, and 2.0 liter engines. The 1.0 was supplied by Ford, as part of the AutoLatina collaboration. The Gol G2 also had two special editions. The first was in 1996, with the name "Atlanta" (after the Olympic Games) and in 1997, with the name "Rolling Stones". In November 1996, Volkswagen began to produce its own 1.0, called the AT-1000. This version was derived from their larger 1.6 (999 cc).
As the Ford-built engine had been in limited supply, Volkswagen could now ramp up production of their entry level Gols beginning in January 1997. There were also 16 valve versions of the 1.0 AT-1000 engine launched in September 1996. The 1.0 16V has 76 PS (56 kW), up from 54 PS (40 kW) in the eight-valve version. In 1995 the Autolatina partnership was dissolved. In 1998, a 1.9 liter diesel engine was installed in the Gol G2, only sold in markets outside of Brazil.
Also this version of Gol had some chronic deficiencies of design, such as bad alignment of body parts, due to problems with the robots on the assembly line, and poor quality of plastic parts. A curious fact about this version of Gol is that the driver's seat is not well aligned with the steering wheel and pedals, causing a rather uncomfortable driving position. Another surprise was Volkswagen's original decision to sell the Gol and Parati (station wagon) only in three-door version, a step which was not appreciated by buyers. Fiat took the top spot in the Brazilian market for the last months of 1997, but once Volkswagen released quickly developed five-door models the Gol and Parati propelled Volkswagen back into first place in early 1998. The three-door models did not receive the G3 facelift.
G3 and G4 facelifts
The second-generation Gol received two facelifts, which include both cosmetic and engine upgrades.
The first upgrade, in 1999, was known as the Gol G3 (right photo) in Brazil and had a new VW 'corporate' front end similar to the Jetta/Bora IV. The Gol G3 came with optional airbags and ABS brakes. All three-door versions were discontinued, although the previous (G2) Gol 1.0 continued to be available as the "Gol Special", to fight for the lowest end of the market. Following the Mercosur economic crisis beginning with the Brazilian devaluation in 1999, the lineup was reduced in 2002. The 2.0 16V was discontinued, while the 1.8 was withdrawn from some markets. Argentinian production of the Gol was halted in 2003. Instead the engines at the bottom of the lineup were improved, with a 1.0 16V Turbo with a 100 PS 1.0-litre turbocharged gasoline engine released in 2000.
When the 2005 (G4) Gol was released with styling cues from the Volkswagen Fox, incorporating the "V Grill", most avid automotive enthusiasts were unimpressed with the leap backwards in interior design. As there was no Parati of the third generation Gol (G5), the G4 stayed until production until the beginning of 2013.
Gol Total Flex
The Gol G2 was introduced in Mexico in spring 1998 as the Volkswagen Pointer (a name previously used in Latin America for a rebadged model based on the Ford Escort Mk V, the Pointer/Logus). The only version for this year was a three-door hatchback with a 1.8 litre 98 hp engine and a five-speed manual gearbox. The only extra cost option available was a package compounding air conditioning and power steering. For 1999 a five-door estate version, the Brazilian Parati (called the Pointer Station Wagon in Mexico) and the Saveiro (called the Pointer Pick Up) are added. They were marketed in three trim levels: Base, Comfort (A/C and power steering) and Luxe (14" alloy wheels, power windows and remote control centralized door locks, A/C and power steering). For 2000 the Pointer received the same facelift as in Brazil and a sporty Pointer GTI based on the Brazilian Gol GTI is introduced. It was a three-door hatchback with a 2.0 litre 122 hp engine. It had AM/FM/Cassette radio, alloy wheels, all around disc brakes, and sporty black seats as standard equipment. In 2002 a basic Pointer City version is introduced, the former Comfort version is renamed the Trendline, and the Luxe variant as the Comfortline. In 2005 the Pointer Station Wagon and the Pointer GTI are discontinued and the former Pointer trims (but the City) are replaced by a new Pointer Mi version.
In the model year 2007, the Pointer receives the newest facelift, and its versions are reorganized. The Pointer is currently marketed as the Base, A/C (Air Conditioning, power steering and rear wiper/washer), Trendline (Radio AM/FM Stereo CD, 15" alloy wheels, fog lamps), and GT (only available as a five-door hatchback. It has the same equipment as the Trendline plus: rear headrests, 6 spoke 15" alloy wheels, black accented headlamps, rear spoiler, and sport seats). The Pointer was replaced in December 2008 by the new Volkswagen Gol G5 which has been launched in Brazil in July 2008.
Gol around the world
The Gol G3 was briefly sold in Russia in 2005 as the Pointer, but the sales were soon discontinued due to low demand.
Third generation (2008–present)
|Third generation (G5)|
|Assembly||São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||3/5-door hatchback
2-door coupé utility
|Platform||Volkswagen PQ24 platform|
|Engine||1.0 L I4 (gasoline)
1.6 L I4 (gasoline)
|Wheelbase||Hatchback: 2,470 mm (97.2 in)
Sedan: 2,465 mm (97.0 in)
Pick-up: 2,750 mm (108.3 in)
|Length||2009–2011 Hatchback: 3,900 mm (153.5 in)
2012–present Hatchback: 3,899 mm (153.5 in)
Sedan: 4,230 mm (166.5 in)
Pick-up: 4,493 mm (176.9 in)
|Width||2009–2011 Hatchback: 1,660 mm (65.4 in)
2012–present Hatchback: 1,656 mm (65.2 in)
Sedan: 1,656 mm (65.2 in)
Pick-up: 1,708 mm (67.2 in)
|Height||2009–2011 Hatchback: 1,450 mm (57.1 in)
2012–present Hatchback: 1,452 mm (57.2 in)
Sedan: 1,464 mm (57.6 in)
Pick-up: 1,497 mm (58.9 in)
The third generation of the Gol was released in Brazil, on June 29, 2008, as a 2009 model. Referred to before its launch as the Gol NF for Nachfolger or Neue Familie (German terms for "successor" and "new family" respectively), this model is marketed as the "Novo Gol". No longer based on the BX platform, it shares Volkswagen's PQ24 platform with the Fox and Polo, with some components from the PQ25 platform.
This is the first Gol to have an automatic transmission.
In Brazil, it was released in a single five-door hatchback version with the options of 1.0 or 1.6 litre flex engines. Its dimensions are 3.90 m in length, 1.66 m in width, 1.45 m in height with a wheelbase of 2.47 m and luggage capacity of 285 litres.
Volkswagen High Torque (VHT) technology was introduced on the third generation Gol family. This new technology allows the flex engine to get the high torques at lower revs, the engines produce higher torques and horsepower on Ethanol fuel.
Revealed in September 2008 the Voyage is the sedan variant of the current Gol and as such has the same running gear 1.0 and 1.6 litre VHT ethanol compatible engines.
Voyage is available in four versions on the Brazilian market; 1.0, 1.6, 1.6 Trend, and 1.6 Comfortline. All come standard with ABS brakes and dual front airbags.
The Voyage boot can be electronically operated via a button on the dash or by pressing the keypad; the luggage capacity is 480 litres.
The Voyage stopped being produced in Brazil in 1995, and returned only in 2008, so was its second generation, but called the G5 to track Gol.
The Voyage 1st generation was the same to be imported into the North American market as Volkswagen Fox.
In August 2009 VW Brazil revealed the third generation Saveiro utility. The new Saveiro is available with a standard cabin or an extended cabin, sharing the same wheelbase which is 152 mm longer than that of the Gol and Voyage. The only available engine, the 1.6L VHT, carries over from the Gol and Voyage.
The most basic 1.6 specification has black bumpers and 14-inch steel wheels. The optional Trend package includes 14-inch alloy wheels and colour-coded door handle and mirror covers; the top of the line is the Saveiro Trooper which has black painted 15-inch steel wheels.
Carrying capacity is 715 kg for the standard cabin and 700 kg for the extended cabin.
- 1.0L VHT 72 hp (76 hp Ethanol) producing 95 Nm (104 Nm Ethanol) @ 3850 rpm
- 1.6L VHT 101 hp (104 hp Ethanol) producing 154 Nm (156 Nm Ethanol) @ 2500 rpm
The VW Gol has been rated as highly unsafe by Latin NCAP, scoring only one star for adult occupants and two stars for children. Its air bag-equipped version scored three stars, although it is a vast minority in the sales mix. This will change with the Brazilian law requiring dual front airbags from 2014 on. Unfortunately, this is the safety standard of low-cost Brazilian cars.
- Calmon, Fernando (2013-04-02). Just-Auto global news (Aroq Limited).
- de Vasconcellos, Marcelo (2011-03-26). "History of the Gol (Parte Um)". The Truth About Cars. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
- Os novos Gol 85 estão na frente [85 Gol's news are up front] (brochure) (in Portuguese), Brazil: Volkswagen do Brasil, 1985
- Büschi, Hans-Ulrich, ed. (March 5, 1992). Automobil Revue 1992 (in German/French) 87. Berne, Switzerland: Hallwag AG. p. 587. ISBN 3-444-00539-3.
- Bogucki, Adam. "VW Gol 1000: The Brazilian "Fox" hatchback". Adam's Volkswagen Fox Web Pages. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
- Büschi, Hans-Ulrich, ed. (March 10, 1994). Automobil Revue 1994 (in German/French) 89. Berne, Switzerland: Hallwag AG. p. 569. ISBN 3-444-00584-9.
- La Traveling Band. "Volkswagen Gol (historia completa)" [Volkswagen Gol (the complete history)] (in Spanish). Taringa!. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
- "Volkswagen confident of Gol's success". Gazeta Mercantil Online (São Paulo, Brazil: Gazeta Mercantil). 1997-01-06.
- Alvares da Costa, Edson (1997-11-28). "São Carlos factory produces new 16 valve engine". Gazeta Mercantil Online (São Paulo, Brazil: Gazeta Mercantil).
- Gomes, Wagner (1998-02-05). "Volkswagen retakes top market spot in January". Gazeta Mercantil Online (São Paulo, Brazil: Gazeta Mercantil).
- de Vasconcellos, Marcelo (2011-03-27). "History of the Gol (Parte Dois)". The Truth About Cars. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
- "New VW Gol Aims To Keep And Expand Its Leadership". 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
- "VW Gol: Gisele Bundchen and Sylvester Stallone starring in new commercial". 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
- Posted by phaeton (2008-09-26). "VW News Blog: VW Brazil Launches the Voyage". Vwphaetonfan.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
- Posted by phaeton (2009-08-26). "VW News Blog: New Saveiro reaches the market fully renovated with Space Cab option". Vwphaetonfan.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
- Latin NCAP report VW Gol - without airbags
- Latin NCAP report VW Gol - with airbags
- Press release Latin America’s top selling cars not safe enough says Latin NCAP
- IIHS Status Report Safety gains aren't global
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Volkswagen Gol.|
|Volkswagen Passenger Cars, a marque of the Volkswagen Group, car timeline, South American market, 1980–present|
|Economy car||Gol / Parati I||Gol / Parati IF||Gol / Parati II||Gol / Parati / Gol Country III||Gol / Parati / Gol Country IV|
|Voyage / Gacel||Amazon / Senda||Polo Classic||Voyage V|
|Supermini||Fox / CrossFox|
|SpaceFox / Suran|
|Polo IV||Polo IVF|
|Small family car||Pointer||Golf III||Golf IV||Golf IVF|
|Apollo||Logus||Bora||Vento / Jetta V||Vento / Jetta VI|
|Large family car||Passat I||Passat IV||Passat V||Passat VI||Passat VII|
|Santana / Corsar / Carat / Quantum|
|Pickup truck||Saveiro I||Saveiro IF||Saveiro II||Saveiro III||Saveiro IV||Saveiro V|
|« previous — Volkswagen Passenger Cars, a marque of the Volkswagen Group, car timeline, United States/Canada market, 1980–present|
|Compact||Rabbit I||Golf II||Golf III||Golf IV||Rabbit V||Golf VI|
|Jetta I||Jetta II||Jetta III||Jetta IV||Jetta V||Jetta VI|
|Mid-size||Quantum||Passat III||Passat IV||Passat V||Passat VI||Passat NMS|
|Coupé||Scirocco I||Scirocco II||Corrado||CC|
|New Beetle Convertible||Beetle|
|Mid-size SUV||Touareg||Touareg II|