Next Volkswagen Golf set to go electric

The ninth-generation Volkswagen Golf looks likely to go electric – quashing rumours of its demise – and co-exist alongside the ID.3, says Volkswagen’s new CEO.

The Volkswagen Golf is set to return to electric power when the next-generation model is launched towards the end of the decade, Volkswagen passenger cars CEO Thomas Schäfer has confirmed.

It quashes rumours the long-running Golf – one of Europe’s top-selling cars, and now in its eighth generation – could be axed by Volkswagen in favour of the company’s similarly-conceived ID.3 electric car.

Speaking at the 2022 Los Angeles motor show, Mr Schäfer said he sees scope for a future electric version of the Golf to co-exist with the ID.3, despite the existing models being close on size, positioning and pricing.

“The ID.3 has never been a successor to the Golf, it is more of a Golf Plus,” he told Drive.

When asked if he considered there was room for both models in the Volkswagen model line-up, Mr Schäfer said, “Yes”.

Mr Schäfer confirmed Volkswagen is currently weighing up options for its existing petrol- and diesel-engined models, many of which have existed for decades and carry highly identifiable names, as the company sets its sights on going electric in selected markets, including Europe, by 2033. 

“We have iconic names like Golf and GTI. It would be crazy to let them die. We will stick with the ID. logic, but iconic models will carry a name,” he said of Volkswagen’s plans.

The reference to the GTI name used on performance versions of the Golf since 1976, suggests the legendary badge could be used on powered-up electric versions of future Golf models in place of the GTX name Volkswagen has used on sporty variants of the ID.4 and ID.5 electric vehicles.

Schäfer referenced the example of the Volkswagen ID. Buzz – the electric Kombi reboot – which already carries a name rather than a number, saying, “We might have an ID. Golf, let’s see.” 

Underlining Volkswagen’s commitment to retaining iconic model names, Schäfer said, “We would not let go of the Golf name, no way.”

Volkswagen kicked off production of an electric version of the seventh-generation Golf in 2014 (above). However, it was discontinued in 2020 when the ID.3 was launched in Europe.

Although not confirmed, a future electric version of the ninth-generation Golf would likely be positioned between VW’s upcoming budget-priced ID.2 and ID.2X small electric SUVs due in 2025, and the ID.3 and upcoming ID.3X – a facelifted, high-riding, possibly all-wheel-drive version of today’s model due out in 2025.

Greg Kable

Kable is one of Europe’s leading automotive journalists. The Aussie expat lives in Germany and has some of the world’s most powerful executives on speed dial.

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