Volkswagen Golf and hot GTI to return with electric power

1 year, 6 months ago - 8 December 2022, autocar
Volkswagen Golf and hot GTI to return with electric power
VW boss Thomas Schäfer says Volkswagen ID 3 and an 'ID Golf' EV can co-exist

The Volkswagen Golf and hot Volkswagen Golf GTi variant are tipped to continue into a ninth generation with electric power, in line with the firm's plan to retain historically significant nameplates.

Volkswagen boss Thomas Schafer said the firm would not be retiring the GTI nameplate, and instead the model could become part of a new hot ID line-up, following the standard Volkswagen Golf. The current, eighth-generation Golf is due to retire around 2027-2028.

Schäfer said the ID naming convention is here to stay, because it is already known by buyers and associated with electric VWs. But long-running badges such as Golf and even GTI are in the frame to continue into the EV era.

“There is a connection with VW and ID, and there is no need to cancel [ID],” he told Autocar at the LA motor show. “We have iconic brand names, Golf and GTI. It would be crazy to let them die and slip away. We will stick with the ID logic but iconic models will carry a name.”

Schäfer said that ID models didn’t always need to have a number after them (such as ID 3 and ID 4), pointing to the existing example of the VW ID Buzz. To that end, he said, VW “might have ID Golf”.

Schäfer made it clear that the Golf would not be a replacement for the ID 3 and that the two models were considered separate cars in size and positioning. When asked if there was room for both, he said: “Yes. The ID 3 has never been a successor to the Golf, it is more a Golf Plus.”

His comments address a lingering question at Volkswagen: could there be room for both a Golf and an ID 3 in a future line-up of electric vehicles, and would they or would they not converge into one model? The Golf would slot in between the ID 2 and the ID 3 in the future.

Schäfer also hinted that the GTX badge used for all-wheeldrive performance versions of the ID cars would not be used by the brand in the long term, and GTI and R would again emerge as the dominant performance badges in the range.

GTX as an idea is en route for EVs,” he added. “If in the future we’ll need it, we’ll see. We might not. But GTI and R, yes. With a strong brand you need to spend less [on marketing, and have better awareness] getting it out there.”

On GTI, Schäfer added: “GTI with Golf was always legendary. We will carry on. We need substance to it, with performance. We’re working on a performance model with EV to carry GTI forward.

Schäfer said the R badge would remain for all-wheeldrive performance flagship models. This suggests that GTI could be used for two-wheeldrive performance EVs, and R for four-wheel-drive ones.

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