Volkswagen Golf lives on, ninth generation sits under ID.3
In 2021, Volkswagen issued a press release about its intentions to become a “software-driven mobility provider”. Marketing jargon aside, the announcement also included news of a ninth-generation Golf coming later in the decade. Fast forward to August 2022, CEO Thomas Schäfer spoke with us The world about how rising development costs for internal combustion engines make the future of the hatchback uncertain. He added a decision will be made in the next 12 months.
At the ongoing Los Angeles Auto Show, VW’s top executives sat down and chatted with them car car about the fate of the iconic compact model. Unsurprisingly, the Wolfsburg-based company is smart enough to keep the “Golf” name alive given the legacy behind it, having sold more than 35 million cars since the mid-1970s.
Schäfer said: “We would definitely not let go of the name Golf. We have iconic brand names, Golf and GTI.
A question arises: where does it fit into VW’s crowded lineup? As it turns out, the ID.3 was never a successor to the Golf. Schäfer described it as “more of a Golf Plus”. For those unfamiliar with the latter, it was a compact minivan sold between 2004 and 2014 with a higher roof compared to the regular hatch. Based on the PQ35 platform, the car was positioned below the Touran and was available in the fifth and sixth Golf generations.
Schäfer suggested that the next-gen Golf will be smaller than the ID.3, meaning it will be positioned above the ID.2 electric city car but below a next-gen ID.3. As it is said, the VW boss indicated that it could be marketed as an ID. Golf. It’s an interesting decision, as most of us thought that once everything went electric, the ID.3 would eventually replace the Golf entirely.
So, lest we forget that VW recently announced a crossover version of the ID.3, there will be a few similarly sized models. Schaefer said it will look “dramatically different” than the hatch, which will get a mid-cycle facelift in 2023 when a high-performance GTX derivative is set to come out.