The Volkswagen Citi Golf is one of the few overnight successes in the motor industry.
It was first going to be called the ‘EconoGolf’, an idea which was scrapped along with the close resemblance to the Golf it was modelled after. VW decided on an entire revamp instead and on the release of the red, yellow and blue Citi Golf range it was clear that they made the right decision – the colours also featured strongly in their ad campaign. These first models had the classic ‘Citi’ decals on the lower rear doors and the Citi golf name on the tail. The 1.3-litre engine made it economical and due to the shape and size, it had superb handling. A high-performance range was introduced in 1985 with 1.6 and later 1.8-litre engines.
The Citi Golf was an instant hit because it allowed people who couldn’t afford the more expensive Golf but still craved access to the VW craftsmanship a way to take part. These cars would just run forever with hardly any maintenance costs. Due to this robustness and adaptability, there was no modification that would go untried… 20-inch rims? Sure. Turbo-charger and low-profile body kit, why not?
The newer, deep-set bumpers were introduced in 1988 with a modern update to the grille. The designers also introduced the curved crease which wasn’t purely for the sake of adding some contours but rather so that other creases during production could be eliminated.
In the 90s VW South Africa brought back the Mk.1 Gti as the Citi CTi. This K-Jetronic engine was, at 82kw, the fastest to date. As the 2000s progressed more modernisation was called for. The dashboard update was the most noticeable change but VW still held on to the classic look. The round taillights with the inset taillight and brake light combination was added – this was unique to South Africa.
In total 377,000 Citi Golfs have been sold and the manufacturing was done in our very own Uitenhage, South Africa.
All we have left to say is bring on the fully-electric Citi Golf!