Next-Gen VW Golf and GTI Will Keep Names but Become EVs

VW’s classic compact is safe, because it’s joining the ID EV lineup. As for whether that’s a good thing, that’s up to you.

byJames Gilboy|
2022 VW Golf R and classic Golf R32


Between the squeeze of rising emissions standards and soaring new car prices, the Volkswagen Golf hatchback may not have lived on past the current model. Now, VW passenger cars CEO Thomas Schäfer says the Golf is safe for another generation, but on a condition that some won't like: It'll be an electric vehicle.

Speaking to Autocar, Schäfer said VW sees value in retaining its historic nameplates as it switches to producing EVs. While most of VW's ID EV lineup has had numerical names so far, the ID Buzz broke the mold and paved the way for other iconic VWs to make the leap into the electric era. Specifically, the Mk.9 VW ID Golf EV.

"There is a connection with VW and ID, and there is no need to cancel [ID]," Schäfer told Autocar. "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."

"We would not let go of the Golf name, no way," he continued.

2022 VW Golf R. VW

The purpose-built Golf EV is reportedly expected in the late 2020s, perhaps 2027 or so, and will not replace the ID3 but supplement it—Schäfer was reportedly adamant there's room for both. It may ride on VW's next-gen EV platform, SSP, that also will be used for its (recently delayed) Trinity flagship. Positioning-wise, it's expected to slot in between the ID2 city car and ID3.

As for a GTI, the way Schäfer speaks about the name suggests an interest in carrying it forward into the EV era. However, VW already has a performance moniker for its ID products—GTX—that leaves unclear what VW would favor for an ID Golf. That's not to say VW couldn't have it both ways by using GTX for the electric equivalent to the Golf R, but that's an argument we'll leave for the comments.

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