After 14 years of being at the top of European car sales charts, the Volkswagen Golf was finally dethroned by the Peugeot 208 supermini in 2022. In fact, Wolfsburg’s compact car didn’t even make it to the podium as the affordable Dacia Sandero came in second while the T-Roc crossover was third. The tiny Fiat/Abarth 500 was fourth, slightly ahead of the Golf, with the Toyota Yaris subcompact hatchback not far behind.
In a bid to rejuvenate sales, VW is working on a mid-cycle facelift for the eighth-generation Golf slated to go on sale in 2024. In the meantime, rumor has it the Germans are thinking ahead by preparing the popular moniker for an inevitable electric future. Autocar has it on good authority the ID. Life concept unveiled at the 2021 IAA Munich is pretty much dead, with an all-new concept car to be revealed next month.
Due in 2025 as a production model, this new EV is expected to be the VW Group’s first car to ride on the MEB-Plus platform engineered for front-wheel-drive applications. That said, it’s believed to support dual motors for models equipped with all-wheel drive. The British magazine refers to the concept as the ID.2 but has heard from insiders the subsequent road-going car could indeed bear the “Golf” moniker.
As far as dimensions are concerned, it’ll reportedly be longer than a Polo but shorter than the Golf, at approximately 4,250 millimeters (167.3 inches). The dedicated electric car platform will result in short overhangs to maximize the wheelbase and offer Golf-like levels of interior room. It’s expected to weigh anywhere between 1,600 to 1,700 kilograms (3,527 to 3,748 pounds) and spawn a GTI version.
Autocar cites a “senior source” from within VW about a decision taken to drop the GTX suffix in the long run. It’s currently being used for the sportier ID.4 and ID.5 SUVs, with the ID.3 hot hatch and ID. Buzz performance minivan to follow. We might get to see a GTI-like take on the new electric concept as early as May at the Wörthersee GTI meet in Austria. If not, the feisty EV could premiere in September at the ID fan meet in Locarno, Switzerland.
While the MQB-based Golf with its combustion engines is produced at home in Wolfsburg, the namesake electric will be assembled by SEAT at its Martorell factory in Spain. It’s the place where a production version of the Cupra Urban Rebel will be made. Skoda will be getting its own version of the small EV.
If the report is accurate, it means the Golf Mk8 will peacefully coexist with its electric cousin for several years. With the MQB-based model due for a facelift in 2024, it means VW intends to have it on sale until at least 2027 or 2028. Eventually, the company will be forced to pull the plug on gasoline and diesel versions as the European Union voted yesterday in favor of banning sales of new ICE cars from 2035.