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Brand New Volkswagen Golf

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Mike Stevens | Nov 13, 2009

YOU HAVEN'T misread that title, and it's no 'typo'. The Mk 1 Volkswagen Golf - the very one that kicked the line off in 1974 - has finally been cancelled in South Africa.

While the first generation Golf was superseded in 1985, its successor's larger size (and price tag) prompted Volkswagen of South Africa to keep the Mk 1 in production as an entry-level model, renamed Citi Golf.

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Of course, the Mk 1's retro appeal wasn't enough to keep it viable in the decades that it remained in service, and numerous interior, mechanical and safety updates have been made over time.

2009_volkswagen_citi-golf_south-africa_05 As a result, the most recent incarnation of the Mk 1 Citi Golf - 25 years after its original unveiling - was something of a mutant, with a modern Polo-inspired interior stuffed inside the original Mk 1 chassis.

The Citi Golf wasn't merely a runabout, either. In 2006, Volkswagen launched the 1.8iR, developing 90kW - not all that short of the much newer Golf IV GTI's output.

According to Volkswagen South Africa, the retro hatch was quite popular, with one in four new cars sold in the country being a Citi Golf.

Volkswagen has offered no official word on the reason behind the Mk 1's final goodbye, but the likely reason is to make room for Polo and Jetta production at the Uitenhage plant.

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Before the Mk 1's tired old jigs are finally melted down, 1000 special edition Citi Golfs will be built.

Featuring a chrome grille frame, smoked tail lights, a stainless steel exhaust pipe and 15-inch alloy wheels, the special edition will sell for the equivalent of $17,500.

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