Volkswagen has no plans to invest money into a next-generation Golf with a combustion engine after production of the current model ends, the brand's CEO Thomas Schaefer said in an interview.
The eighth-generation VW Golf will get a significant update next year, after which the brand's core model will not be renewed – not with combustion engines, that is.
Schaefer told Germany's Automobilwoche (via Automotive News Europe) that the Golf's future depends on how the segment develops until the end of the decade, leaving a (small) door open to a future Golf generation if major changes occur globally over the next few years.
"If the world develops completely differently than expected by 2026 or 2027, then we can also launch a completely new vehicle again. But I don't expect that to happen. So far, that's not planned," Schaefer said.
That's quite a big surprise seeing as the VW brand will switch to a BEV-only lineup in Europe from 2033, so there would still be time for a ninth-generation Golf with internal combustion engines until then.
Volkswagen dropping the ICE-powered Golf is obviously a huge development, as the model has been synonymous with the brand since the first-generation model launched in 1974.
However, that doesn't mean the Golf name will disappear as well. Volkswagen plans to use it in the future on a battery electric vehicle.
"It's clear that we will not be giving up iconic names like Golf, Tiguan and GTI, but will be transferring them to the electric world," Schaefer said.
In December, VW brand's CEO told Autocar that Volkswagen and the ID name have a good enough connection to keep the latter around even alongside more traditional names. He said there could even be an "ID. Golf."
Back to the Automobilwoche interview, the executive said any EV model has to fit the genes of the Golf to get that iconic badge. "Just calling any vehicle that doesn't work. We won't make that mistake," Schaefer explained.
By Golf genes, the executive means, for example, a flatter roof compared to the ID.3 all-electric compact hatchback. Schaefer believes a Golf BEV won't happen until 2028 at the earliest, when Volkswagen launches its new Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) electric architecture.
The SSP platform will be more versatile than its current MEB counterpart, allowing VW Group to support a wider variety of cars. Interestingly, an SSP-based VW Golf EV puts to rest rumors that the MEB Entry-based ID. 2all concept might get the Golf name when it reaches production.