Improved comfort and dynamics. Volkswagen has enhanced and perfected the Golf’s running gear. In particular, ride comfort has been further improved again. In addition, a new driving dynamics control system has been developed for the eighth-generation Golf: the driving dynamics manager including an new evolutionary stage of the adaptive chassis control (DCC). This significantly increases the spread between maximum comfort and maximum dynamics, and the Golf benefits from significantly sharpened driving dynamics as a result.
The driving dynamics manager
Central and higher-level control. In the eighth-generation Golf, Volkswagen has introduced a new, central and higher-level control system for the functions that influence handling: both the XDS function and the lateral dynamics components of the regulated dampers (optional DCC) are controlled by the driving dynamics manager. The self-steering behaviour of the Golf can be significantly influenced by light wheel-specific braking interventions as well as targeted wheel-selective adjustment of the damper hardness. The already neutral and stable vehicle handling in the basic configuration is further enhanced as a result.
Perfectly matched. The driving dynamics manager permits selection of the right control system at the right time for any driving manoeuvre. This avoids undesirable superposition or neutralisation of the effects of the XDS and DCC systems; the systems therefore work together perfectly and play a decisive part in shaping the dynamic character of the Golf. The handling and steering behaviour is much more precise thanks to the use of the enhanced DCC and XDS function; the control interventions are even more sensitive than before. The dynamic roll movements of the vehicle are also reduced and damped more effectively; the new Golf therefore responds perceptibly faster to the driver’s steering commands and can be driven even more intuitively right to the limits.
The adaptive chassis control DCC
Wider spread. The adaptive chassis control DCC continuously reacts to the road surface and driving situation, and during this process takes into account various elements including steering, braking and acceleration manoeuvres. By means of the set driving profile mode, the driver can influence the reduction in body motion as desired. The required damping is calculated for each wheel and adjusted at the four shock absorbers within fractions of a second. Consequently, DCC always provides the highest level of driving comfort and ensures ideal driving dynamics in combination with the driving dynamics manager. In the new Golf, the vehicle setup can also be extended in INDIVIDUAL mode beyond the existing range of the fixed COMFORT, ECO and SPORT modes. Using a digital slider, the driver can individually and precisely set and store their personal driving profile. The slider also continuously influences the lateral dynamics of the Golf via DCC and XDS. It is now also possible to apply intermediate settings in between the familiar modes. The Golf also offers additional adjustment ranges beyond anything that has gone before: beyond the COMFORT setting the body is “decoupled” from the road surface as much as possible, thereby further boosting driving comfort. After SPORT mode there is an additional adjustment range that features maximum damping for minimum body movement and exceptionally direct vehicle reactions. This means the Volkswagen’s cornering and responsiveness can be set to respond to steering commands in a way that is more comfortable and quiet or more sporty and agile.
The running gear layout
Two different rear axles. A McPherson axle is used at the front, with a torsion beam axle (below 110 kW and front-wheel drive) or multi-link suspension (from 110 kW or all-wheel drive) at the rear.
McPherson front axle. At the front of the Golf, a McPherson front axle (track 1,549 mm) with lower wishbones and track-stabilising scrub radius ensures optimal handling and steering characteristics; vibration behaviour is very well balanced. A subframe is centrally positioned in relation to the front axle. This frame is designed for high rigidity and supports the steering and engine mounting parts along with the front axle components. In combination with the adaptive chassis control (DCC), the subframe is realised with an extremely rigid aluminium structure which is approximately three kilograms lighter and thus further improves driving dynamics. The weight-optimised tubular anti-roll bar effectively reduces the body roll of the Golf. The rubber mounts are directly vulcanised onto the anti-roll bar; this process guarantees optimal acoustic characteristics as well as outstanding driving dynamics responsiveness. The bonded rubber mountings of the transverse links have been optimised for enhanced comfort and higher steering precision.
Torsion beam rear axle. Every Golf below 110 kW output and with front-wheel drive is delivered with a torsion beam rear axle. The modular lightweight axle (track 1,519 mm) consists of a transverse profile open at the bottom, into which an insert plate is welded on each of the outer ends. Different torsion rates can be achieved by differences in the length of the insert plates. This approach provides a significant weight benefit compared with a welded-in tubular anti-roll bar. The arrangement of a transverse profile that is open at the bottom also optimises the roll behaviour and transverse rigidity. The modular lightweight axle is ideally suited to small engines, and also provides outstanding comfort and handling characteristics in combination with the McPherson front axle. An axle with a higher torsion rate is used in combination with the optional sports running gear. The locating mounts of the axle are designed as hydro-bushes to increase driving comfort and the acoustic properties of the axle.
Multi-link rear axle. From an engine output of 110 kW, Volkswagen combines the McPherson front axle with a multi-link rear axle. This axle is also used in the all-wheel drive (4MOTION) versions of the Golf. The main focus for Volkswagen here was on the areas of kinematics, acoustics, weight and modularity. The basic concept of consistently separating longitudinal and transverse rigidity has been retained. The low longitudinal rigidity of the axle is generated by the soft axle locating mount of the trailing arm to further increase driving comfort. The kinematic and elastokinematic axle characteristics have been revamped compared with the axle on the predecessor: modified transverse link mounts and newly designed hub carriers significantly improve steering precision and driving stability. The track and camber values are set individually as required for each vehicle type via eccentric bolts on the spring link and upper transverse link. The connection of the tubular anti-roll bar and shock absorber at the spring link is a key design feature; this reduces the forces within the axle.
Two steering systems
Noticeably more direct. Two different steering systems are available for the new Golf. A steering rack with linear ratio is used in the basic version. In comparison with the predecessor, the ratio of this steering system is now noticeably more direct (i = 14.6 instead of 15.0), reflecting the smaller steering angle requirement and allowing more instantaneous vehicle response. A progressive steering system is again optionally available. This features an even more direct on-centre ratio (i=14.1) with only two steering wheel turns from lock to lock. New algorithms have been established in the software of both systems which in particular further enhance the dynamic response of the steering. The steering therefore contributes decisively to the dynamic character of the new Golf: agile, precise, stable and exactly steerable right up into the high-speed range.
Wheels and tyres
Low rolling resistance. Depending on equipment or chosen option, the new Golf is delivered with wheels in sizes from 15 to 18 inches. All tyres of the Golf have been developed for especially low rolling resistance and balanced acoustic properties in combination with excellent driving comfort and optimum driving dynamics characteristics. When developing the wheels and tyres, Volkswagen attached great importance to high steering precision, direct vehicle response and a high level of driving stability. For this reason, the rim width (flange-to-flange dimension) was increased by half an inch on the 16- and 17-inch wheels. The wider wheels ensure faster and significantly more linear responsiveness of the tyres to steering movements and therefore perfect the dynamic character of the new Volkswagen.