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Volkswagen Gol
Manufacturer Volkswagen
Production 1980–present
Predecessor Volkswagen Brasilia
Class Subcompact car
Layout FF layout

The Volkswagen Gol is a subcompact car manufactured by Volkswagen do Brasil since 1980 as Volkswagen's entry-level car in the South American market—where it succeeded the South American VW Beetle (Fusca). Variants of the Gol were marketed in North America as the Volkswagen Fox from 1987–1993—and manufactured and marketed in Iran under the Gol nameplate.

The Gol has been the best-selling car in Brazil since 1987 as well as Argentina since 1988 with over 5 million manufactured in South America since 1980.

The Gol takes its name from the Brazilian word for "goal."

Body styles

The Gol family comprises many body styles:

A three and five-door hatchback which takes the name VW Gol in most countries; in Mexico, Egypt and Russia it has been called the VW Pointer. The first-generation Gol was offered only as a three-door; a five-door version was added for 1997.

A sedan produced only for the first and current (fifth) generation. The Brazilian-built two-door and four-doors sedans were called the VW Voyage and Argentinian-built ones VW Gacel; the nameplate VW Fox was used in the United States and Canada. After a facelift in 1991, Argentinian-built models were renamed the VW Senda. For the second generation this model was replaced by the Volkswagen Polo Mk 3 Classic, which is still sold in Mexico and Argentina. But a new Voyage notchback sedan returned in 2008, for the G5 generation.

VW Parati is a station wagon built on both generations since May 1982. The Parati I was a three-door sold in North America as the Fox Wagon. The second-generation Parati is sold in Argentina as the Gol Country. A five-door version was added in 1997 and the three-door version was dropped after the first facelift (G3). It is named after Paraty, a city on the southern coast of Rio de Janeiro state. It was formerly called Pointer Station Wagon in Mexico and it was sold there between 1999 and 2005. It is rumored this model will be discontinued for the G5 generation.

VW Saveiro is a lightweight pickup truck. All Gol generations have been sold with this bodystyle, which was introduced to the market in 1983.[1] It is named after a traditional Brazilian fishing boat. It is currently sold in Mexico since 1999 as the Pointer Pick Up.

The VW Furgão is a lightweight panel van based on the Gol.

Gol G1 (1980–1994)

First generation (G1)
Also called Volkswagen Fox
Volkswagen Parati
Volkswagen Pointer
Volkswagen Voyage
Production 1980–1994
Assembly São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Nueva Palmira, Uruguay
Body style(s) 3-door hatchback
2/4-door sedan
3-door station wagon
2-door coupé utility
Platform Volkswagen Group BX platform
Engine(s) 1.0 L I4
1.3 L H4
1.5 L I4
1,584 cc H4
1,588 cc MD-270 I4
1,781 cc I4
1,984 cc I4
1.6 L diesel I4 (export only)
Transmission(s) 4/5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2358 mm (92.8 in)
Length Gol: 3,810 mm (150 in)
Sedan/wagon: 4,150 mm (163.4 in)
Pickup: 4,060 mm (159.8 in)
Width Gol/sedan: 1,600 mm (63 in)
Wagon/pickup: 1,622 mm (63.9 in)
Height Gol/sedan: 1,363 mm (53.7 in)
Wagon/pickup: 1,385 mm (54.5 in)

The Gol was released in 1980 to replace the Brasilia, which was in turn a replacement to the Beetle in the Brazilian market. It was based on its own unique BX platform derived from the existing VW/Audi B1 and B2 platforms. With a design specific to Latin America, the Gol featured the 1.3-liter air-cooled, flat-four engine from the Beetle, but front-mounted.[1] A 1.6-litre engine was added later. The Voyage two-door sedan variant of the Gol was released in June 1981 and received a 1.5 litre inline watercooled gasoline engine instead. The same engine was offered with an ethanol option. In 1985, the air-cooled engine of the Gol was replaced by a 1.6-litre (and later 1.8-litre as well) longitudinally-mounted water-cooled gasoline inline-four engine from the Passat.[2] By May 1982 the Voyage 1.5 was upgraded to 1.6. In 1984 a watercooled Voyage 1.8 ("Super") was launched as a higher level option. A 1.6-litre Diesel engine was made, although only for export as diesel engines are not allowed in passenger cars in the Brazilian market.[3]

In January 1983 a four-door Voyage sedan was released. It was known as the VW Amazon in some export markets, later as the Fox in North America. The four-door Voyage was built in the Autolatina Pacheco factory in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 1983 to 1994. It was sold under the name Gacel (later also as the Senda) with the Argentine-built 1.6 OHC engine with a carburettor, later also with a diesel 1.6.

1990 Volkswagen Parati

The first generation (or "G1") Gol had two mild facelifts in 1987 and 1991. The 1988 Gol GTi was the first Brazilian-built car to use fuel injection. The 2.0-liter inline-four engine was the same used by the Santana. In 1991, as a result of changes to the tax laws in Brazil, a flurry of cars with engines under one litres appeared. Fiat was first (with the Fiat Mille), and Volkswagen quickly responded with the spartan Gol 1000.[4] It had a Ford-developed 997 cc engine (a result of their recent Autolatina joint venture) with 50 hp and was not available in any other bodystyle. Between 1991 and 1995 the Ford CHT 1.6 replaced the original 1.6 in the range, also as a result of the Autolatina lineup.

Sports versions

GT 1.8 (1984–86)

The Gol GT 1.8 was the BX family's first sports version and an answer to the Ford Escort XR3, a successful sports car in Brazilian market. With a 1.8 liter engine borrowed from Santana (MkII Passat), the Gol GT was much faster than the Escort XR3, but externally did not have the same beauty. The first series still had a four-speed manual gearbox, but soon this was changed to a five-speed unit.

GTS 1.8 (1987–1994)

Successor of Gol GT, the GTS had an updated design, following the new 87 BX line up style and also featuring new accessories that were not available before, such as rear spoiler and side skirts. The 1.8 liter engine produced 94 hp (70 kW) running on gasoline or 99 hp (74 kW) running on ethanol. The GTS was a very successful model and was kept in production alongside with the upcoming GTI.

GTI 2000 (1989–1994)

Known as the first Brazilian built car equipped with electronic fuel injection, the Gol GTI was presented in January 1989 and featured a larger 2.0 liter engine with power of 111 PS (82 kW) running only on gasoline.[5] Claimed top speed is 185 km/h (115 mph).[3] This engine was the same as used in the larger Santana, albeit fitted with fuel injection for the GTI.

Fox (North America 1987–1993)

1987–1990 Volkswagen Fox 4-door sedan

1991–1993 Volkswagen Fox 2-door sedan

Volkswagen Group of America marketed variants of the Gol (manufactured by Volkswagen do Brasil) in North America as entry level models from 1987-93 under the Volkswagen Fox nameplate. Initially offered as a two-door and four-door sedan as well as a two-door wagon, the wagon was discontinued for model year 1991 along with the two-door sedan for the Canadian market. That same year the remaining Fox versions received a mild restyling.

All North American models employed a longitudinally-mounted inline-four 1.8 L gasoline engine producing 81 hp (60 kW) at 5,500 rpm and 93 lb·ft (126 N·m) at 3,250 rpm.

Early models (1987–1989) featured Bosch CIS-E type Jetronic electro-mechanical fuel injection, using an oxygen sensor to assist in fuel management. Later models (1990–1993) employed Bosch Digifant electronic fuel injection. In Canada from 1987–1989 it was offered with the simpler Bosch CIS fuel injection system without an oxygen sensor for the engine fuel management system.

Over the course of its model history, trim levels included base Fox, GL, GTS, GLS, GL Sport, Polo, and a Wolfsburg Edition. Options included air conditioning, five-speed (vs. four) manual transmission and metallic paint. No automatic transmission was offered. The GL trim featured revised cloth trim, rear license plate backing, ceiling-mounted map light, glove compartment light, trunk light, tachometer (excepting wagon models), body-coloured bumpers, hubcaps, passenger side exterior rear view mirror, 175/70-13 tires, locking gas cap and three-point rear seat belts.

The 1991 facelift included revised grill, headlights, turn signals, badges, and hubcaps—as well as reduction of towing hooks to two from four. Later North American models featured "automatic" non-motorized front seat shoulder belts along with a knee-bar and manual front lap belts.

Gol G2 to G4 (1994–2014)

Second generation (G2-G4)
Also called Volkswagen Parati
Volkswagen Pointer
Volkswagen Saveiro
Production 1994–present (as Gol G4)
Assembly São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil
Anting, China,
Kerman, Iran(2003-Late 2009)
General Pacheco, Argentina (until 2003)
Body style(s) 3/5-door hatchback
3/5-door station wagon
2-door coupé utility
Engine(s) 1.0 8v I454ps
1.0 16V I4 69ps
1.0 turbo 16V I4 112ps
1.6 8V 92-99ps I4
1.8 8V I4 96-103ps
2.0 8V I4 109ps-112ps
2.0 16V I4 145ps
1.9 SDI I4 64ps
Transmission(s) 5-speed manual
Wheelbase Hatchback / station wagon: 2,470 mm (97.2 in)
Pickup: 2,600 mm (102.4 in)
Length Hatchback: 3,930 mm (154.7 in)
Station wagon: 4,190 mm (165 in)
Pickup: 4,450 mm (175.2 in)
Width 1,640 mm (64.6 in)
Height 1,420 mm (56 in)

The second generation (or "G2") Gol, known as Project AB9 during development, debuted in September 1994. Still based on the BX platform, it was very different from the earlier model, with an updated body and longer wheelbase than the 1980 original. Nicknamed "Gol Bolinha" (roughly "Rounded Gol" or "Bubble Gol"), the previous generation started to be nicknamed as "Gol Quadrado", "Squared Gol". The new version was an answer to the then newly released Chevrolet Corsa.

The Gol G2 was available in the following versions: 1000i, 1000i Plus, CL, GL, Furgão (Wagon) and GTi (this one produced until 1996 with only a 8V engine, at which point a 16-valve version arrived), with 1.0, 1.6, 1.8, and 2.0 liter engines. The Gol G2 also had two special editions. The first was in 1996, with the name "Atlanta" (after the Olympic Games) and in 1997, with the name "Rolling Stones". In late 1997, Ford and Volkswagen's "Autolatina" alliance was dissolved and the Ford-built 1.0 was no longer available. Volkswagen had to quickly develop its own 1.0, a version derived from their larger 1.6 (999 cc).[1]

Volkswagen Parati (G2)

Also this version of Gol had some chronic deficiencies of design, such as bad alignment of body parts, due to problems with the robots on the assembly line, and poor quality of plastic parts.[citation needed] A curious fact about this version of Gol is that the driver's seat is not well aligned with the steering wheel and pedals, causing a rather uncomfortable driving position.[1] Another surprise was Volkswagen's original decision to sell the Parati (station wagon) only in a three-door version, a step which was not appreciated by buyers. Volkswagen quickly developed a five-door Parati and the three-door variant was discontinued after the introduction of the slightly facelifted G3.[1]

G3 and G4 facelifts

The second-generation Gol received two facelifts, which include both cosmetic and engine upgrades.

The first upgrade, in 1999, was known as the Gol G3 (right photo) in Brazil and had a new VW 'corporate' front end similar to the Jetta/Bora IV. The Gol G3 came with optional airbags and ABS brakes. All three-door versions were discontinued, although the previous (G2) Gol 1.0 continued to be available as the "Gol Special", to fight for the lowest end of the market.[6]

When the 2005 (G4) Gol was released with styling cues from the Volkswagen Fox, incorporating the "V Grill", most avid automotive enthusiasts were unimpressed with the leap backwards in interior design.[citation needed]

Fourth generation Volkswagen Gol Trendline

Gol Turbo and Total Flex

Volkswagen Pointer Station Wagon (Mexico)

The 2003 Volkswagen Gol 1.6 Total Flex was the first flexible-fuel vehicle produced and sold in Brazil.

The Gol 1.0 16V Turbo, launched in 2000 with a 112 hp 1.0-litre turbocharged gasoline engine, was the first one of its kind in South America[citation needed], as was the flexible fuel vehicle Gol Total Flex, available since 2003.

Pointer (Mexico)

The Gol G2 was introduced in Mexico in spring 1998 as the Volkswagen Pointer (a name previously used in Latin America for a rebadged model based on the Ford Escort Mk V, the Pointer/Logus). The only version for this year was a 3 door hatchback with a 1.8lt 98 hp engine and a five-speed manual gearbox. The only extra cost option available was a package compounding air conditioning and power steering. For 1999 a 5 door hatchback version, the Brazilian Parati (called the Pointer Station Wagon in Mexico) and the Saveiro (called the Pointer Pick Up) are added. They were marketed in three trim levels: Base, Comfort (A/C and power steering) and Luxe (14" alloy wheels, power windows and remote control centralized door locks, A/C and power steering). For 2000 the Pointer received the same facelift as in Brazil and a sporty Pointer GTI based on the Brazilian Gol GTI is introduced. It was a three-door hatchback with a 2.0 litre 122 hp engine. It had AM/FM/Cassette radio, alloy wheels, all around disc brakes, and sporty black seats as standard equipment. In 2002 a basic Pointer City version is introduced, the former Comfort version is renamed the Trendline, and the Luxe variant as the Comfortline. In 2005 the Pointer Station Wagon and the Pointer GTI are discontinued and the former Pointer trims (but the City) are replaced by a new Pointer Mi version.

In the model year 2007, the Pointer receives the newest facelift, and its versions are reorganized. The Pointer is currently marketed as the Base, A/C (Air Conditioning, power steering and rear wiper/washer), Trendline (Radio AM/FM Stereo CD, 15" alloy wheels, fog lamps), and GT (only available as a five-door hatchback. It has the same equipment as the Trendline plus: rear headrests, 6 spoke 15" alloy wheels, black accented headlamps, rear spoiler, and sport seats). The Pointer was replaced in December 2008 by the new Volkswagen Gol G5 which has been launched in Brazil in July 2008.

Gol around the world

As a result of a joint-venture with Kerman Khodro, the Gol has been built in Iran since 2003.

The Gol G3 was briefly sold in Russia in 2005 as the Pointer, but the sales were soon discontinued due to low demand.

The Gol G3 was also made and sold by Shanghai Volkswagen in China from February 2003, but production has ended.[citation needed]

It is currently sold in Egypt as the Volkswagen Pointer.

Gol G5 (2008–present)

Third generation (G5)
Production 2009–present
Assembly São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil
Body style(s) 5-door hatchback
3-door hatchback
4-door sedan
2-door coupé utility
Platform Volkswagen PQ24 platform
Engine(s) 1.0L I4
1.6L I4

5-speed manual

5-speed automatic
Wheelbase Saveiro: 2,750 mm (108.3 in)
Hatchback: 2,470 mm (97.2 in)
Sedan: 2,465 mm (97.0 in)
Length Saveiro: 4,493 mm (176.9 in)
2012-Present Hatchback: 3,899 mm (153.5 in)
2009-2011 Hatchback: 3,900 mm (153.5 in)
Sedan: 4,230 mm (166.5 in)
Width Saveiro: 1,708 mm (67.2 in)
2012-Present Hatchback: 1,656 mm (65.2 in)
2009-2011 Hatchback: 1,660 mm (65.4 in)
Sedan: 1,656 mm (65.2 in)
Height Saveiro: 1,497 mm (58.9 in)
2012-Present Hatchback: 1,452 mm (57.2 in)
2009-2011 Hatchback: 1,450 mm (57.1 in)
Sedan: 1,464 mm (57.6 in)

The third generation of the Gol was released in Brazil, on June 29, 2008, as a 2009 model. Referred to before its launch as the Gol NF for Nachfolger or Neue Familie (German terms for "successor" and "new family" respectively), this model is marketed as the "Novo Gol". No longer based on the BX platform, it shares Volkswagen's PQ24 platform with the Fox and Polo, with some components from the PQ25 platform.[7]

This is the first Gol to have an automatic transmission.

In Brazil, it was released in a single five-door hatchback version with the options of 1.0 or 1.6 litre flex engines. Its dimensions are 3.90 m in length, 1.66 m in width, 1.45 m in height with a wheelbase of 2.47 m and luggage capacity of 285 litres.

The advertisements were filmed in Los Angeles, California featuring Sylvester Stallone and Gisele Bündchen.[8]

Volkswagen High Torque (VHT) technology was introduced on the third generation Gol family. This new technology allows the flex engine to get the high torques at lower revs, the engines produce higher torques and horsepower on Ethanol fuel.

2010 Gol 1.6 GTS Line

Voyage G5

Revealed in September 2008 the Voyage is the sedan variant of the current Gol and as such has the same running gear 1.0 and 1.6 litre VHT ethanol compatible engines.

Voyage is available in four versions on the Brazilian market; 1.0, 1.6, 1.6 Trend, and 1.6 Comfortline. All come standard with ABS brakes and dual front airbags.

The Voyage boot can be electronically operated via a button on the dash or by pressing the keypad; the luggage capacity is 480 litres.[9]

The Voyage stopped being produced in Brazil in 1995, and returned only in 2008, so was its second generation, but called the G5 to track Gol

The Voyage 1st generation was the same to be imported into the North American market as Volkswagen Fox

Saveiro G5

In August 2009 VW Brazil revealed the third generation Saveiro utility. The new Saveiro is available with a standard cabin or an extended cabin, sharing the same wheelbase which is 152 mm longer than that of the Gol and Voyage. The only available engine, the 1.6L VHT, carries over from the Gol and Voyage.

The most basic 1.6 specification has black bumpers and 14-inch steel wheels. The optional Trend package includes 14-inch alloy wheels and colour-coded door handle and mirror covers; the top of the line is the Saveiro Trooper which has black painted 15-inch steel wheels.

Carrying capacity is 715 kg for the standard cabin and 700 kg for the extended cabin.[10]

Engine specifications

  • 1.0L VHT 72 hp (76 hp Ethanol) producing 95 Nm (104 Nm Ethanol) @ 3850 rpm
  • 1.6L VHT 101 hp (104 hp Ethanol) producing 154 Nm (156 Nm Ethanol) @ 2500 rpm



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 de Vasconcellos, Marcelo (2011-03-26). "History of the Gol (Parte Um)". The Truth About Cars. Retrieved on 2012-08-30.
  2. 3.0 3.1 (March 5, 1992) Automobil Revue 1992 87 (in German/French). Berne, Switzerland: Hallwag AG, 587. ISBN 3-444-00539-3. 
  3. Bogucki, Adam. "VW Gol 1000: The Brazilian "Fox" hatchback". Adam's Volkswagen Fox Web Pages. Retrieved on 2012-08-30.
  4. (March 10, 1994) Automobil Revue 1994 89 (in German/French). Berne, Switzerland: Hallwag AG, 569. ISBN 3-444-00584-9. 
  5. de Vasconcellos, Marcelo (2011-03-27). "History of the Gol (Parte Dois)". The Truth About Cars. Retrieved on 2012-08-30.
  6. "New VW Gol Aims To Keep And Expand Its Leadership" (2008-07-01). Retrieved on 2008-10-23.
  7. "VW Gol: Gisele Bundchen and Sylvester Stallone starring in new commercial" (2008-07-02). Retrieved on 2008-10-23.
  8. Posted by phaeton (2008-09-26). "VW News Blog: VW Brazil Launches the Voyage". Retrieved on 2009-10-25.
  9. Posted by phaeton (2009-08-26). "VW News Blog: New Saveiro reaches the market fully renovated with Space Cab option". Retrieved on 2009-10-25.

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