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Volkswagen's Big Decision Could Pose Serious Problems

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But there may be a silver lining.

Volkswagen has been confronted with a serious dilemma lately. It all centers around the release of the 8th generation Golf, one of the brand's most noteworthy models. We've already heard that the car's reveal has been delayed until 2020, but now the company's CEO, Herbert Diess, is telling his managers that they need to speed up the next generation's reveal date. At least that's what he told his staff at an internal meeting, according to Automotive News Europe.

"Currently we are fighting hard with the ramp-up," Diess told them. "We will meet our deadline and deliver the first vehicles at the end of this year." Problem is, there's a window of time around December of 2019 during which the Mk 8 Golf cannot be revealed due to the fact that consumers tend to shift focus from buying cars to buying Christmas gifts.

That means Volkswagen either needs to hurry up and get the Golf out, ideally by October of this year, or wait around until February of 2020, the previous reveal date we heard from Volkswagen. That poses a big problem for Volkswagen because the Mk 8 Golf's delays are not easy to sort out. The car's reveal was originally pushed back due to software bugs stemming from its over-the-air update system, which requires engineers to build in a number of sophisticated safeguards against hackers.

Due in part to those safeguards, the system has become so complex that the next-gen Golf's software spans 100 million lines of code compared to the 10 million lines it took to make a car sold just 10 years ago. The increase in the software's scale means that ironing out defects takes much longer than before, longer even than Volkswagen's engineers anticipated.

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And while the Golf's over-the-air update system will be one of the car's hallmarks, the hatchback will also feature lots of other complex technologies including 48-volt mild hybridization and a fully digital cockpit that includes an 8.25-inch touchscreen display.

Given that the next-generation Golf will be killed off in America, leaving room for only the GTI and R variants to make it here, the delays have only meant more bad news for US fans of one of Volkswagen's most iconic cars. Hopefully, the reveal will prove that the anguish was worth it.

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