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The Volkswagen Golf GTI will live on, but not as you know it – report

The Volkswagen Golf GTI will live on, but not as you know it - report

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International – Lately there have been whispers of doubt about whether the Volkswagen Golf will live to see another generation in this rapidly evolving automotive landscape, but now it appears that the iconic nameplate does have a future, albeit as an electric car.

Autocar recently spoke with the Volkswagen brand’s global chief Thomas Schäfer, who incidentally also headed up VWSA until 2020, about the company’s nameplates. After confirming that the ID badge would continue to adorn the brand’s electric cars as it already has a connection with customers, he also hinted that some of the older and more iconic nameplates like Golf and GTI would live on.

“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.

The VW boss then speculated that the company might have something along the lines of an ID Golf, but reiterated that “We would not let go of the Golf name, no way.”

The Volkswagen Golf GTI will live on, but not as you know it - report
The current Golf 8 GTI is likely to be the last petrol-powered version.

When asked, by Autocar, whether a future battery-powered Volkswagen Golf 9 could potentially clash with the similarly sized ID.3 hatchback, Schäfer sai that the electric model was never intended to replace the Golf, and that in concept it was more akin to a Golf Plus of sorts.

Earlier this year German publication Welt reported that the future of the Volkswagen Golf lay in the balance as Schäfer had stated that the company had yet to decide whether there would be a ninth-generation.

This was due to the increasing cost of making internal combustion models compatible with ever-stricter emissions legislation in Europe, and the impending ban on ICE vehicles in the 2030s. Schäfer said it might not be worth developing a new model generation that would not last the full seven or eight years, however given his latest insights it would appear that he was referring to an ICE-powered Golf.

As far as we see it the writing is on the wall that VW is strongly considering going all-electric for the next-generation Golf.

Those Vrr Phaa days are indeed numbered for local fans of the Golf GTI, but thankfully the company does want to retain the high-performance nameplate in the battery era.

But while the first eight generations of Golf GTI were front-wheel driven, there seems a good chance that the future electric successor will feature rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive as these are the only configurations currently offered on the MEB platform that underpins the ID.3 and ID.4. As a taste of what we could possibly expect, the current ID.4 performance crossover model has a twin-motor all-wheel drive set-up that produces 220kW.

That said, it does seem unlikely that the future e-Golf will be underpinned by the MEB platform. The Volkswagen Group is currently working on a new modular vehicle architecture called SSP, which is expected to underpin high-volume models from 2026 onwards.

Given that the current Golf was introduced in 2019, the expected seven- or eight-year life cycle would take it to 2026 or 2027. Either way, the current Golf 8, which is due to get a mid-life facelift next year, is not going anywhere soon. But be sure to enjoy that Vrr Phaa while it lasts.

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