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Gallery: 20 landmark Golfs in 30 million sales

News that the 30 millionth Volkswagen Golf rolled off the line at Wolfsburg had the HJClassics team thinking about the production milestone that marks this car out as such an enduring success since the launch of the Mk1 in 1974.

It wasn't a technical or engineering pioneer, though - there were plenty of other mid-sized hatchbacks before the Golf - but it was a perfect case of a right-first-time product that kick-stated its maker's future fortunes - so much so that it underpinned the Volkswagen Group's relentless growth into arguably the world's largest car company today. The Golf did popularise the hot hatch and four-door cabriolet in the '80s, and V6 and super-green diesel hold-alls during the 1990s.

Enjoy then, our gallery of some of the classic Golf's finest moments...

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1992: Volkswagen Golf VR6

One of the more fascinating Mk3 innovations was the 2.8-litre VR6 version, which replaced the G60 G-Lader engine across the Volkswagen range. The name VR6 was a contraction of the German words 'Verkürzt' and 'Reihenmotor' meaning shortened inline engine. The idea was simple - it was a narrow-angle V6 with staggered pistons, and for its 2.8-litres, it was incredibly compact.

The engine had been designed especially for transverse FWD installations and was typical of Volkswagen's big-spending nature of the time, because it didn't really offer much over the G60 in terms of power, performance or refinement. However, it sparked another hot hatch race, with rival manufacturers scrabbling to come up with suitable alternatives. Developments of the VR6 engine continue to this day, powering hot versions of the Passat in less diesel-centric markets.


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