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Volkswagen Gol
2009 Volkswagen Gol
Manufacturer Volkswagen
Production 1980-present
Predecessor Volkswagen Brasilia
Class Subcompact car
Layout FF layout

The Volkswagen Gol is a low cost subcompact car designed in Brazil and sold by German automaker Volkswagen since 1980. It is Volkswagen's entry-level car in the South American market, beneath the other superminis, the Fox and Polo. It has uninterruptedly been the best-selling car in Brazil since 1987, and since 1998 in Argentina. Gol sales in South America are also high; over 5 million Gols have been produced since 1980. Gol has also been produced in Iran under the same name. Its project was started in 2nd half of 1970's due the need for a liable successor for the VW Beetle (Fusca, in Brazil), since the European cars would not be liable for sales due the road conditions (that required more resistant platforms) and different customer needs.

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


Body styles

The Gol family comprises many body styles:

  • A 3 and 5 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 in 1997.
  • A sedan produced only for the Gol I. 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 the G5 generation.
  • VW Parati, 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. 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, a lightweight pickup truck. All Gol generations have been sold with this body, and was introduced to the market in September 1984. It is named after a traditional Brazilian fishing boat. It is currently sold in Mexico since 1999 as the Pointer Pick Up.
  • VW Furgão, a lightweight panel van based on the Gol.

Gol G1 (1980-1994)

First generation (G1)
first generation of Gol
Also called Volkswagen Parati
Volkswagen Pointer
Volkswagen Fox
Production 1980-1997
Assembly São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Body style(s) 4-door sedan
3-door hatchback
2-door coupe
3-door station wagon
2-door pickup truck
Engine(s) 1.8L I4
2.0L 120 hp I4
1.3L H4
1.6L H4
1.6L I4
Transmission(s) 5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2358 mm (92.8 in)
Length Hatchback: 3810 mm (150 in)
Coupe / Sedan / Station wagon: 4150 mm (163.4 in)
Pickup: 4060 mm (159.8 in)
Width Hatchback / sedan / Coupe: 1600 mm (63 in)
Station wagon / pickup: 1622 mm (63.9 in)
Height Hatchback / sedan: 1363 mm (53.7 in)
Station wagon / pickup: 1385 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 automobile 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, H4 engine from the Beetle, but front-mounted. A 1.6-litre engine was added later. In the mid 1980s, this engine was replaced by 1.6 and 1.8-litre longitudinally-mounted water-cooled gasoline I4 engines from the Passat. A 1.6-litre Diesel engine was made only for export (Diesel engines are not allowed in cars in Brazil).

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 I4 engine was the same used by the Santana.


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 didn't have the same beauty. First series still had a 4-speed gearbox, soon changed to a 5-speed (both manual).

  • 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 running on gasoline or 99 hp 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 featured a larger 2.0 liter engine with power of 120 bhp running on gasoline. Also this engine was borrowed from Santana, despite that this model still used carburettors.

Gol G2 to G4 (1994-2008)

Third generation (G3)
Volkswagen Gol
Also called Volkswagen Pointer
Production 1994-2008
Assembly São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil
Shanghai, China
Body style(s) 3-door hatchback
5-door hatchback
3-door station wagon
5-door station wagon
2-door pickup truck
Engine(s) 1.0 8v 54ps I4

1.0 16V 69ps I4
1.0 16V 112ps I4
1.6 8V 92-99ps I4
1.8 8V 96-103ps I4
2.0 8V 109ps-112ps I4
2.0 16V 145ps I4

1.9 SDI 64ps I4
Transmission(s) 5-speed manual
Wheelbase Hatchback / station wagon: 2470 mm (97.2 in)
Pickup: 2600 mm (102.4 in)
Length Hatchback: 3930 mm (154.7 in)
Station wagon: 4190 mm (165 in)
Pickup: 4450 mm (175.2 in)
Width 1640 mm (64.6 in)
Height 1420 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"), and the previous started to be nicknamed as "Gol Quadrado", "Squared Gol". The new version was an answer to the then newly released Chevrolet Corsa.

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.

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.

Gol Turbo and Total Flex

2007-08 Volkswagen Pointer (Mexico)
Volkswagen Pointer 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 "hot hatch", launched in 2000 with a 112 hp 1.0-litre turbocharged gasoline engine, was the first one of its kind in South America, 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). The only version for this year was a 3 door hatchback with a 1.8lt 98 hp engine and a 5 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 3 door hatchback with a 2.0lt 122 hp engine. It had AM/FM/Cassette radio, alloy wheels, 4 disc brakes, sport 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 5 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.

Gol G5 (2008-)

Fifth generation (G5)
fifth generation of Gol, "Novo Gol"
Production 2009-present
Assembly São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil
Body style(s) 5-door hatchback
4-door sedan
Platform Volkswagen PQ25 platform
Engine(s) 1.0L I4
1.6L I4
Transmission(s) 5-speed manual
Wheelbase Hatchback: 2,470 mm (97.2 in)
Sedan: 2,465 mm (97.0 in)
Length Hatchback: 3,900 mm (153.5 in)
Sedan: 4,230 mm (166.5 in)
Width Hatchback: 1,660 mm (65.4 in)
Sedan: 1,656 mm (65.2 in)
Height Hatchback: 1,450 mm (57.1 in)
Sedan: 1,464 mm (57.6 in)

The fifth 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.[1]

In Brazil, it was released in a single 4-door hatchback version with the options of 1.0 or 1.6 L 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, featuring Sylvester Stallone and Gisele Bündchen.[2]

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.

Voyage G5

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

Voyage is available in four versions on the Brazilian market; 1.0L, 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 via a button on the dash or by pressing the keypad; the boot capacity is 480 litres.[3]

Saveiro G5

In August 2009 VW Brazil revealed the fifth generation Saveiro utility; this time the Saveiro is available with a standard cabin and extended cabin both have the same wheelbase which is 152mm longer than the Gol and Voyage. The engine range comprising of only the 1.6L VHT is carried over from the Gol and Voyage.

Equipment range starts with a 1.6 specification which has black bumpers and 14-inch steel wheels with the option of a Trend package which includes 14-inch alloy wheels and colour coded door handle and mirror covers; the top of the line is the Saveiro Trooper has stylish black painted 15-inch steel wheels.

Carrying capacity is 715kg for the standard cabin and 700kg for the extended cabin.[4]

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

Future Gol plans and rumours

The new model may be sold in Eastern Europe as a Škoda Auto model to compete with the Dacia Logan and future low cost Chinese entries. The NF acronym translates as "New Family" in many languages. e.g. Nova Família in Portuguese, Nueva Familia in Spanish, Nuova Famiglia in Italian, Nouvelle Famille in French, and Neue Familie in German.

Besides the five-door hatchback, pickup versions and sedan a station wagon and panel van could be added to the range to replace the Parati and Caddy Type 9K.

A Turbocharged version of the Gol G5, with a 1.4L TSI engine is rumored to be released on 2010 under the name of Gol GTI 2010.[5]


The Voyage 2-door sedan variant of the Gol was released in June 1981 with a 1.5 inline watercooled gasoline engine. The same engine was offered with an ethanol option.

By May 1982 the 1.5 were upgraded to 1.6. In 1984 a watercooled 1.8 was launched as a higher level option.

In January 1983 the four-door sedan was released. It was known as VW Amazon in some export markets, with diesel engines.

Between 1991 and 1995 the Ford CHT 1.6 was in the range as part of the Autolatina lineup.

The four-door Voyage/Senda/Gacel was built in the Autolatina Pacheco factory in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 1983 to 1994. It was sold under the name Gacel with the Argentine-built 1.6 OHC engine with a carburettor.

The new 2008 Voyage was release in Brazil in October 2008, a few months after the Gol G5.

Fox / Fox Wagon (United States & Canada, 1987-1993)

1987-1990 Volkswagen Fox sedan
1991-93 US-spec Volkswagen Fox GL sedan

The sedan and station wagon versions were sold in the United States and Canada as the Fox and Fox Wagon between 1987 and 1993 as an entry-level model. The styling changed slightly in 1991, with different grilles, headlights, turn signals etc. Badges also were changed slightly, and the interior was updated. Other differences included such things as two towing hooks instead of four, and a different style of hubcaps for the two of them.

Compared with the rest of the Volkswagen lineup of the time, the Fox was very similar and very different at the same time. Its suspension was indeed Fox-specific, but as noted before it shared a transmission and longitudinal engine orientation with the Quantum and Audi 80/4000 B2 platform, took its engine from the Golf/Jetta, and used the same generic wheels from other models in the lineup.

The only engine offered was a longitudinally-mounted straight-4 1.8 L gasoline engine. The same engine could have been found in the Jetta and Golf of the time, but the Fox variation was heavily restricted compared to the other models. The engine produced 81 hp @ 5500 rpm and 93 ft·lbf at @3250 rpm. In North America, three different variations of the engine were available. In Canada, the UM model came with CIS fuel injection, no catalytic converter, and no oxygen sensor. By comparison, the US version had CIS-E fuel injection along with the catalytic converter and oxygen sensor. The third variation was on the 1991-93 models, which had a Bosch Digifant II system which stored error codes, and had a 6000 rpm limiter. However, unlike Golfs and Jettas of the same time, all of the North American models did not have a knock sensor or a wide open throttle (WOT) switch.

The different versions were the Fox, Fox GL, Fox GTS, Fox GLS, Fox GL Sport, Fox Polo, and Fox Wolfsburg. Fox options included air conditioning, GL trim (with special cloth seats, map light, glove compartment light, trunk light, tachometer, painted bumpers, etc.), five-speed manual transmission and metallic paint.



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