What is a Volkswagen Rabbit?
Germany’s Volkswagen produced the small Rabbit back in the 70s. It was introduced in Europe in 1974 as the Volkswagen Golf but was renamed the Rabbit for its North American debut the following year.
The Volkswagen Rabbit reverted to its former moniker in 1985 and stayed so for the next two decades. Due to the Mk V platform’s introduction, Volkswagen again renamed the Rabbit Volkswagen and introduced a new model in early 2006.
To continue the never-ending narrative of Volkswagen changing the name of its entry-level hatch for the North American market, the company dropped the “Rabbit” brand in favor of the “Golf” by March 2009.
How Was the Volkswagen Rabbit Created?
Many components developed for the Rabbit Volkswagen have been shared with the new Audis thanks to the recent acquisition of Auto Union. These, in turn, sprang from Mercedes’s R&D efforts to modify a tiny water-cooled four-cylinder industrial engine for use in a revised DKW F102.
1980 Volkswagen rabbit developed a gearbox to position the motor longitudinally, much like the British Mini, and the trunk was discarded in favor of a hatchback in an atypical “two-box” design, as opposed to the traditional “three boxes” sedan layout with a head, a cabin, and a trunk. Later, Volkswagen produced a Jetta sedan, just a Rabbit with a box.
Exterior Design of the Volkswagen Rabbit
Volkswagen’s hatchback started with just three doors, but a five-door model was released soon after. The company also made a convertible and a pickup truck. Giorgetto Giugiaro, who previously designed the unique Delorean and the ground-breaking Lotus Esprit, was responsible for the exterior design.
Naming the Volkswagen Rabbit/Golf
Some have speculated that Volkswagen took inspiration for the name “Golf” from the German word for “gulf stream” and “Golfstrom,” which would make sense given the company’s usage of the terms “Scirocco,” meaning “hot Mediterranean wind,” and “Jetta,” meaning “jet stream” in German.
Others argue that it might just be a reference to the posh sport, given that VW markets a model called the “Polo” in Europe. However, in the United States, the Mark 1 Golf was marketed as the Rabbit because the name “Golf” was seen as too affluent for a low-priced vehicle targeted at young people. They would continue the motif with the introduction of the VW Fox a few years later.
Why is Volkswagen Golf Named Volkswagen Rabbit?
The first thing to remember is that, except in North America, Golf has always been the Golf. In addition to “Golf,” another name under which it has been marketed as “Citi Golf,” which was used mostly in South Africa.
In America, the MK1 Rabbit was sold from 1975 to 1984, while the company sold the MK5 Rabbit from 2006 to 2009.
The question here is;
“Why was the car called Volkswagen Rabbit?”
Well, the answer is a bit confusing. The term “Golf” is instantly recognizable as a reference to the widely-enjoyed American pastime of the same name.
Golf is the German form of the English phrase “Gulf Stream,” which refers to a particular kind of wind that blows from the Gulf of Mexico. VW may have worried that naming a vehicle after a sport might turn away customers who aren’t fans of Golf.
The original Golf/Rabbit exemplified the name “rabbit’s” implications of quickness and agility. Since then, each succeeding model has consistently placed near the pinnacle of automobiles in terms of driving pleasure.
The name “Rabbit” is more appropriate to the car’s character than “Golf” is. In short, this is the reason behind the name of the vehicle.
Why Was the Name Rabbit Reinstated for 5th Generation Golf?
When Volkswagen introduced the second version of the Golf in 1984, they did away with the Rabbit brand.
But why did they decide to reinstate it for the fifth generation? The first commercial success of the MK1 Rabbit in the United States market is the primary driver behind this phenomenon.
The Rabbit Volkswagen was introduced in the middle of the 1970s, a period of rising oil costs that caused Americans to suffer financially at the pump. At the time, most Americans were used to driving domestic vehicles considered “gas guzzlers.”
The Rabbit was not only very frugal but also provided an excellent balance of performance and usability in its design.
As a result, the MK1 Volkswagen Rabbit was a commercial success, with 1.3 million units sold between 1975 and 1984.
However, from the second generation forward, the Golf has never been able to replicate the kind of success that the MK1 Rabbit had in the American market. Sales of Golf have consistently fallen short of expectations.
Volkswagen decided to again market the MK5 Golf under the name “Rabbit” to reclaim the sense of nostalgia and “magic” that contributed to the MK1 model’s meteoric rise to the top of the automotive industry.
A Short History of Volkswagen Mk1 Rabbit
This little sedan may look mundane now, but it was revolutionary when it was first introduced. Volkswagen, Daimler-Benz, Audi, and DKW all contributed to the development of this new vehicle, and it paid off: the Mark 1 Rabbit/Golf was still being manufactured in certain countries as recently as 2009.
Every automaker in the world would eventually adopt the two-box hatchback design, front-wheel drive, and water-cooled, transversely mounted four-cylinder engine that the Toyota Corolla uses.
VW introduced numerous varieties of the Golf after its initial run was a smashing success, selling over 30,000 units in the first year alone. These ranged from the more strongly tweaked Golf GTIs of the 1980s to the cartoonish “Harlequin” Golf of 1996.
The boldly colored body panels were pieced together haphazardly without regard to maintaining the hue of the car uniform. Volkswagen Rabbit yellow was the most attractive one. However, there were other colors available too.
The most famous colors included pistachio green, tornado red, and Chagall blue were the series’ four foundational hues.
1970’s Volkswagen Golf
As sales of the Volkswagen Beetle dropped precipitously by the 1970s. Volkswagen set out to create the Golf as a worthy replacement.
When the 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit replaced the long-running VW Bug in 1974, it was one of the most radical design shifts in the industry’s history.
Although it debuted in 1945, the design of the rear-engine, air-cooled Beetle can be traced back to the time before World War II. More than 40 years after its manufacturing, the water-cooled, front-engine, front-wheel drive hatchback design of the MK1 Golf is still widely used.
1974-1983 Volkswagen Rabbit
From 1974 to 1983, the brand sold the Volkswagen Rabbit in the United States. It was then replaced by the MK2 Golf, essentially a larger and more luxurious version of the original. Larger tail lights, redesigned bumpers, upgraded gauges, and square headlights (in the US) were among the changes made in a 1980 facelift.
The 90’s Success
With its characteristic ‘basket handle’ for rollover safety and structural rigidity, the Volkswagen Rabbit convertible was debuted in 1980 and marketed until 1993. Seeing the success of compact pickup trucks from Toyota and Datsun in the United States market. The Volkswagen factory in the United States slashed the rear roof. It installed a solid rear axle and leaf springs on the Rabbit in 1979 to create the Rabbit Pickup.
More than 6 million Mark 1s, including hatchbacks, pickups, and cabriolets. Were sold worldwide when manufacturing ceased in South Africa in 2009.
Current Model of the Volkswagen Rabbit
The 2009 Rabbit’s 5-cylinder and Tiptronic 6-speed, automated gearbox performance mode lets the engine rev higher before moving gears. The sport mode relentlessly overdrives gears to maintain the engine in its power range. The driver may also choose the manual option, which mimics the F1 car’s gear changes (sequentially).
You can get by with the standard radio. But upgrading to the premium sound system. What you really want to do. The premium sound system, like the Monsoon system of earlier models, has high-quality speakers and a more authentically designed head unit.
This automobile has a great turning circle. The standard geometry and suspension configuration are ideal for a lively ride and quick reactions in an emergency. The exhaust from all five cylinders is impressively quiet.
The Volkswagen Rabbit brand will be discontinued after the 2009 model year. Volkswagen has revealed that the Rabbit Volkswagen would adopt the Golf name for the 2010 model year.
Why Was Volkswagen Rabbit So Successful?
Like the original Beetle. The Volkswagen Rabbit was designed to serve as a functional compact family vehicle. As seen by the model’s selection of fuel-efficient and lightweight engines.
North American vehicles received 70 hp from a 1.5-litre gas engine. But European ones began with a 1.1-litre unit making 50 hp. There was also a 1.5-litre diesel variant that was so fuel-efficient. That it was essentially a new class of vehicle; it was said to get over 40 mpg.
The Volkswagen Rabbit’s power output may seem modest, but remember that it was built before federal crash laws were in place and weighed less than 1800 pounds fully loaded.
How Fast Does the Volkswagen Go?
Thanks to its light curb weight and adequately sized engine, the Volkswagen Rabbit can reach speeds of up to 130 miles per hour.
In the previous model Volkswagen Rabbit yellow, a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine produced 170 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. As a result, it can go from 0 to 60 mph in only 7.4 seconds. It can get up to 30 mpg. While driving on the highway and up to 21 mpg when driving in the city.
Is It Worth Buying?
Yes, according to the reviews and observing customer satisfaction over the years, we can say that purchasing the Volkswagen Rabbit is the right choice. Since it is constantly updated, it has new features, more horsepower and unique colors. Therefore, it is good to invest money in the car.
If you are looking for a Volkswagen Rabbit near me, you are then making the decision might seem hard. With all the information presented in the article. You can easily decide whether you need to buy a car or not.
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