The Golf has lost a lot of feathers under the outgoing VW boss Herbert Diess – the market launch was a disaster, the sales figures remain meager. The car will be revised again in 2024, but then it could be threatened with extinction.

The 50th birthday of the VW Golf could also be its last: In the course of electrification in the Volkswagen Group, the future of the bestseller Golf, introduced in 1974, is in the stars. In an interview, when asked whether the current Golf 8 would be the last, VW brand boss Thomas Schäfer responded cryptically: “We will have to see whether it is worth developing a new vehicle that no longer has the full seven or eight years. That would be extremely expensive “. The Golf is a very important car for Volkswagen, and nothing has been decided yet. However, Schäfer did not make a clear commitment to the future of the Golf.

Background to the probable Golf-Aus: The group is converting its European model range completely to electric vehicles, but they are created on their own platforms of the “ID” line. Old models such as Golf and Passat are gradually disappearing from the program. The VW sister Audi will no longer have combustion engines listed by 2033 at the latest.

There is no longer any room for a platform that was primarily built for combustion engines, like the Golf. Especially since the sister models Audi A3 or Seat Leon will no longer be available: Audi is focusing on premium e-cars and saying goodbye to the compact segment. And Seat will be replaced by the Cupra brand, which will soon also only sell electric cars.

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In 2024, however, the eighth Golf generation will be technically and visually overhauled. VW has already improved the initially heavily criticized infotainment system with numerous bugs with updates. With the facelift, new slider controls will be added. “In the future, the screen behind the steering wheel will measure 10.4 inches, and that on the center console even 12.9 inches,” reports the “AutoZeitung”.

The body gets a new grille design that makes the car look less clinging to the road; the grill is placed higher. The rear end is also fine-tuned: “In the Golf and all other classic model series with a combustion engine, the era of optical dummy exhaust covers is a thing of the past. Sports models such as the Golf GTI and the Golf R, on the other hand, retain their visible, real tailpipes,” the newspaper continues.

There is no electric drive under the hood because, as is well known, that is what the ID.3 is for. However, the Golf will have a revised hybrid drive. According to information from the industry, the new Golf GTE should have a 1.5 liter turbo petrol engine which, in combination with the electric motor, develops 191 kW / 260 hp. The purely electric range should increase to 90 to 100 kilometers. There are also various petrol and diesel engines. The natural gas variant of the current model, on the other hand, is likely to be omitted.

All electric car and plug-in hybrid models at a glance

In any case, what may be the last generation of the Golf is not the most successful. The compact car, which has been sold since 1974, had a real false start. Software problems had led to a recall, customers and testers were dissatisfied with the cumbersome operation. In addition, VW was only able to sell 90,000 new Golfs in Germany in 2021 – in 2019 there were more than 200,000 copies. At the end of 2021, the Golf no longer appeared at the top of the new registration statistics, for the first time in decades. The flop for the Golf, after all still the brand’s major driving force and a bestseller and image carrier for decades, was also one of the reasons for the departure of VW boss Herbert Diess.

Whether there is a future for the Golf will depend on whether the concept of a classic compact car without a purely electric drive is still needed on international markets. This is likely to be the case in many markets in South America, in the African states or in Asia – but there VW already has its own models with other names that are tailored to the regional markets, such as the VW “Gol” in Brazil or the one specifically for China created the Jetta brand, which was launched in 2019. It doesn’t need a Golf then, especially since the positive reputation of the compact car and its sales success have always been largely limited to Europe.