Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 2
In line with many other foreign associates of big European motor manufacturers, Volkswagen Brazil announced a new model of their own in 1980. The new car, designated GOL, was a replacement for the Brasilia.
Like the model it superseded the GOL was a three-door hatchback with an overall length of 12.43 ft (3.79 metres) on a wheelbase of 7.74 ft (2.36 metres), comparable to the German Golf. The chassis and running gear were also similar: MacPherson coil spring stuts at the front, and an independent rear layout of torsional beam trailing arm axle and telescopic dampers.
The GOL used front wheel drive, and its longitudinally-mounted enngine (the evergreen air-cooled
'Beetle' boxermotor) was mounted ahead of the wheel-centres. But the Dr Porsche-inspired motor was considerably modified with a new-type cylinder-head incorporating valves
at a shallow angle, and a compression ratio of 6.8: 1.
The 1285 cc motor had bore and stroke dimensions of 77 x 69 mm, and develops 42 bhp (31.31 kW) at 4200 rpm, with maximum torque of 60 Ib ft (8.3 mkg/80.46 Nm) at 2200 rpm. Engine cooling has been vastly improved with a less noisy fan, turned through 180 degrees, and in unit with a four-speed manual gearbox. The 1653 Ib (750 kg) GOL would reach 81 mph (130 km/h), and accelerated from 0-61 mph (0-100 km/h) in 21.8 seconds.
For the Brazilian market where there was already an ethanol (alcohol distilled from cane sugar) distribution network, Volkswagen sold a special Alcohol model fitted with pre-heated inlet maniifold. The ethanol engines were identical to the petrol units except for maximum power requiring an extra 200 rpm.
In addition ignition advance was changed to 18 degrees (instead of 10 degrees), and idling speed was raised to 950 rpm. Cooler plugs were also fitted, as well as larger carburetter jets. In cold weather the alcohol engines had to be first started on petrol (which was stored in an auxiliary 0.40 litre fuel tank). VW's figure for the Alcohol GOL's top speed was identiical to the petrol model, but 0.62 mph (0-100 km/h acceleration was inferior at 22.1 seconds.