Last year, Volkswagen confirmed that despite the increasingly rapid electrification of its range, the Golf, T-Roc, Tiguan, and Passat would have a new generation. However, the changing market situation would have led the German firm to reconsider its position: the Golf could finally have no replacement.
Thomas Schäfer, CEO of the brand, has confirmed in a recent interview that a decision has not yet been made regarding the development of a ninth generation of the well-known best seller. This would be due to the increase in the development costs of thermal vehicles in Europe as a result of the increasingly strict anti-pollution regulations.
Schäfer calculates that the Euro 7 regulation will cause the prices of cars with an internal combustion engine to increase between 3,000 and 5,000 euros since it will be “extremely expensive” to develop models capable of complying with it. Even if it goes ahead, the ninth-generation Golf will not be able to have a typical commercial life of 7/8 years due to the European Union’s goal of banning sales of new thermal cars from 2035.
The current eighth-generation Golf was launched in 2019 and is expected to receive its mid-cycle restyling in 2023 or 2024, which will allow it to remain in force for a few more years. Most likely, if a hypothetical ninth generation is developed, it will be an updated version of the previous model to keep costs down.
The Volkswagen ID.3 will replace the Golf
Schäfer has confirmed that the final decision on the fate of the popular compact will be made in the next 12 months, although he has warned that the future of small internal combustion engine cars is becoming increasingly complex, implying that other models like the Polo also have their days numbered.
Within the Volkswagen range, the electric equivalent to the Golf is the ID.3 (both compete in the C segment). For a few years, they will coexist, but the truth is that sooner or later the ID.3 will end up replacing its illustrious predecessor, which for almost five decades has been one of the best-selling cars on the European market.
Although the ID.3 is not meeting Volkswagen’s expectations at the sales level, the brand is already working on a restyling that will be launched on the market next year. This update should address some of the current model’s weaknesses, including a poorer-looking cabin than the Golf.