The Volkswagen Golf has plenty of reasons to celebrate this year. VW has just produced its 30 millionth Golf and recently accepted the 2013 World Car of the Year award, which the small hatch won just a few months ago.
The car that reached the big milestone is a Volkswagen Golf TDI BlueMotion, which rolled off the automaker's production line in Wolfsburg, Germany. No word on what will happen to this specific clean-diesel Golf, but for now it will be on display at the plant's open house day this weekend. Also, Volkswagen AG chairman of the board Martin Winterkorn officially accepted the Golf's 2013 World Car of the Year award, which it won back in March, beating a number of strong contenders including the Porsche Cayman and the Toyota 86.
The first-generation model was introduced in 1974 and "the step from the Beetle to the Golf was revolutionary," said Volkswagen head of design Klause Bischoff. Throughout its 39-year history, the Golf hasn't strayed far from its front-drive hatchback platform, and the combination of practicality and fun-to-drive nature has been key to its success.
The Golf is now in its seventh generation, and we said the hatchback has reached "a new level of sophistication" in our First Drive review. It's the first model to ride on VW's new MQB platform and, depending on the model, will be at least 100 pounds lighter than its predecessor. In addition to losing weight, the new Golf grows a bit and gains a number of advanced safety items like City Emergency Braking and PreCrash.