If you don't continue reading now, you will regret it. You would have the motive for this, because this Golf looks more like an inflated Golf 1. They gave it a lot more interior space and at the same time tried to preserve a lot of its
design. No risk whatsoever was taken with its external design because the predecessor was so well received. The only exception might have been the rear lights.
But, you will probably have to look a long time for a VW model that has been changed in so many almost invisible points. We will try to prove this. It started with the rust protection, which was announced during the facelift of
the Golf 1, but, as you can see from the survival figures, it never really worked much better than with the very first Golf.
If you drove behind a Golf 2, you recognized it by the fact that even years later, snotty noses adorned its sheet metal under the tailgate on the left and right. It was the wax that was sprayed hot and abundantly. Together with the
underbody protection, it was so successful that, for example, the Opel Kadett was suddenly seen as a rust bower. The introduction of wheel house shells for the first time was also very important.
Spacious and much better processed, that's how you could characterize it. However, this did not necessarily apply to the cheapest equipment version and e.g. for the woolen fabric of the backrests. Without looking closely, it
still had up to four doors, in any case, except for the Jetta 2, a tailgate, McPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam axle at the rear.
But it started already with the chassis. The two wishbones were now and for all time connected by a carrier that also accommodated the rack and pinion steering, incidentally also available as power steering for the first time
in the Golf. Together with a front cross connection, it formed the basis for the bearing of the engine. You can even unscrew the front and, in principle, pull the engine out to the front.
One reason for this possibility was probably the production in the new Hall 54, which went down in history as one of the most automated final assemblies. Even on today's vehicles, the strange screw heads with internal
centering show that they are used and tightened by robots and that nothing should go wrong.
The way it was managed back then, this form of production has not proven itself. The activities of the workers changed too much, too much was wanted to be achieved at once. Today one relies on much more flexible
methods. The car manufacturers would prefer to be able to switch a complete production facility from one model to another, so to speak, at the push of a button, depending on demand. Parts of the deserted factory, e.g. the
press shop, were only reached much later.
Back to the Golf 2. Ultimately, this production method did not harm it. It was one of the key factors behind the reputation of the durability of the Golf models. It could hardly score any points when designing the body. After all, the
lower drag coefficient compensated for the larger cross-sectional area. Despite only having a spare wheel, it was around 100 kg heavier than its predecessor.
The higher weight was compensated by a variety of engines, some of which went far beyond the performance of the predecessor. The 81 kW (110 hp) of the first became 102 kW (139 hp) with 1.8 liters of displacement in the
second, of which, however, 7 kW (10 hp) were soon removed by installing a catalytic converter. Not exactly in the spirit of the inventors that classic cars without a catalytic converter have a significantly higher resale value. By
the way, the cylinder head with 16 valves was also available on the Golf 1 with 1.6 liters. It was very popular in France, for example.
After all, the Golf 2 had retained the K-Jetronic of its predecessor, albeit converted to the KA and KE Jetronic. Otherwise there was a wide variety of carburetors and even a central injection system in its engine compartment.
Of all these systems, the latter has survived the longest in successor models. The predecessor was also familiar with the idle and main mixture system, which was complicated by emissions regulations, but now there was
even an overrun fuel cutoff.
It was the time to save fuel. We dedicate a separate chapter to the diesel engine. With the gasoline engine, there was Formula E on this subject, in which either the 5th gear introduced in the Golf 2 or, if not available, the
fourth gear was planed to be very gentle. That was also the time when start-stop was invented.
There was a very strange clutch. It was still based on the principle of the jammed driving disk, but it was freed from its predicament, unusually enough, from the engine side. Roughly simplified, one could say that the flywheel
and pressure plate were reversed. The latter was actuated by a thrust bearing located on the outside of the gearbox via a push rod that went through the entire gear shaft. The clutch took up less space and no longer had to
The front axle now seemed much more stable. It was also possible to set the camber and replace small-sized pieces. The axle of the Passat was installed at the rear. It was called 'track-correcting' because it sat in rubber
bearings that allowed 'longitudinal elasticity'. The same technique was used on the front wishbones. The bearings were only allowed to be pressed in a certain position. At the rear, the more powerful models now had
floating caliper brakes instead of floating frame brakes, and even ventilated at the front.
Time to deal with the interior. The Golf 1 also had air conditioning, but only for the large engines and mainly because of the US export, where it was called 'Rabbit'. With the Golf 2, one was possible as standard, the complete
heating switched from water to air regulation and pollen filter. What was new, however, was the central locking system, which, unlike today, worked pneumatically. A single small air line operated the locks by positive or
negative pressure. Worth mentioning: the heated seats.
In addition to the lambda control, the other features introduced over time were also enormous. Headrests and seat belts have been around for a long time, ABS only came along with the Golf 3, but at least ABS was
introduced. And did you know that the first all-wheel drive 'Synchro' is also connected to the Golf 2? 'Country' was the name of a kind of off-road version, back then with moderate success.
There was even a regulated turbocharger in the Golf 2. Surprising, because you may only know this from the Golf 3, the electric version, both of which are not available for sale by the way. Up to an optimistic 80 km electric
range was specified, significantly less in city traffic. However, one was not allowed to use the possible 100 km/h outside. And there is one more 'tragedy' to report: with the first facelift, this Golf and all subsequent versions
lost the front hinged triangular windows.