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VW Golf at 40: a motoring icon in pictures

Microsoft IES Logo By Sean Carson for MSN Autos of Microsoft IES | Slide 2 of 34

Volkswagen Golf Mk I

It all started with the Mk I Golf (sold here as the Rabbit), which replaced the aging air-cooled rear-engined Beetle and brought VW’s small car line-up right up to date. Front-wheel drive and transverse engines meant plenty of space inside the cabin — and therefore lots more practicality — with improved driving dynamics over the Beetle, too. It doesn’t sound revolutionary today, but it was still a big deal back when the car first launched in 1974. For several years, Volkswagen actually produced the Rabbit at the Westmoreland plant, in Pennsylvania. The first Rabbit rolled off the assembly line there in 1978. Amazingly, the first-generation Golf only recently ended production. Between 1984 and 2009, Volkswagen of South Africa produced the hatchback, updating it with a new engine and interior. Talk about longevity!
© Volkswagen
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