Reborn VW Golf Electric (2028) will have a flatter roof than the ID.3: Report

Update: ‘VW ID. Golf specifications’ section updated.

The launch of the VW ID.3 won’t result in the discontinuation of the VW Golf. In fact, Volkswagen is looking to reintroduce an electric powertrain for the Golf as part of its transformation in Volkswagen’s electrification push.

VW Group CEO confirms interest in the return of the VW e-Golf

Oliver Blume, the CEO of Volkswagen Group, indicated at an all-new VW Golf EV in December 2022, but didn’t offer any details. He said:

The Volkswagen brand is currently examining how it can take icons such as the Golf or the Tiguan into the electric future.

Oliver Blume, CEO, Volkswagen Group (Extraordinary General Meeting 2022 on December 16, 2022)

Previously, in November 2022, speaking to Autocar at the 2022 LA Auto Show, Thomas Schäfer, CEO, Volkswagen, suggested the next-gen VW Golf EV could arrive as the VW ID. Golf and include a GTI variant. Retiring iconic names like Golf and GTI “would be crazy,” he said. At the same time, Volkswagen wants to stick with the ID. nomenclature for EVs, “but iconic models will carry a name,” he added. He stopped short of confirming the model, saying Volkswagen “might have ID. Golf.”

In January 2023, Schäfer told Auto Bild Spain that the VW Golf will ditch the internal combustion engine for a fully-electric powertrain moving to its ninth generation. When asked about the current car’s future, Schäfer said, “We will update the Golf now in 2024, it will be a review of the new model.”

Golf and GTI brands will stay on in the EV era

VW is in the process of working out the details concerning the brand’s upcoming model line-up and their respective nomenclatures, Schäfer told Auto Express, in a report published on January 13, 2023. He hinted at the possibility of an ID. Golf in the future while also reaffirming Volkswagen’s plan to retain iconic nameplates like Golf and GTI in the electric era.

The VW Group CEO stated that the ‘ID.’ branding is here to stay, citing its current popularity and association with electric vehicles. Future VW EV models will likely continue using the ID. name, while the automaker’s historically-significant models are to retain their names as well, Schäfer suggested to the British publication.

Design & Features

Andreas Mindt, who joined Volkswagen Passenger Cars as its Head of Design on February 1, 2023, will likely oversee the design of the next-gen VW Golf EV. Mindt developed a new brand design language for Bentley before he moved to Volkswagen Passenger Cars, and here, too, he is likely to come up with a visual philosophy, which we see on the VW ID. Golf.

VW ID Golf next-gen e-Golf rendering
TopElectricSUV’s rendition of the VW ID. Golf is based on the Volkswagen Gen.Travel Concept (2022) and is 100% imaginative.

As it’s based on the MEB Platform, the next-gen VW Golf can look strikingly different from the eighth-gen model. The new pure-electric Golf should have a clean and smart exterior, with a new concept for the lights and grille, shorter overhangs, and almost fully covered wheels.

The interior will likely be a big departure from the outgoing car, although more due to the layout than the design theme. Volkswagen has already highly digitalized the Golf’s interior, and if anything, it should dial back. For example, touch sliders and touch-operated steering controls have failed to impress customers. The company will offer a rotary controller instead of touch sliders, as per the Autocar report. We’re hoping it’ll replace the steering controls, too.

The next-gen Golf will likely be a more practical car with significant changes in the interior layout. It should have a sleeker dashboard and a flat floor. There’ll be no transmission tunnel, and Volkswagen may use the free space between the front seats to offer a movable center console. Another interesting feature could be reclining rear seats.

Not related to the ID. 2all concept

Some media reports say the ID. Golf will be the production version of the ID. 2all concept, but that’s incorrect. The latter will be a separate product called ID.2.

Schäfer suggested to Auto Bild Spain that the next-gen Golf won’t share any commonality with the smaller ID.2. According to him, there’s certainly room for a Golf EV in the Volkswagen line-up. That’s because the ID.3 isn’t a Golf successor, “it is more a Golf Plus,” the brand boss told Autocar. Simple and affordable, the Golf has always been the true people’s car in the Volkswagen range, and will continue playing this role when the company goes all-electric in Europe.

To be based on the SSP architecture

Schäfer cleared the confusion in an interview with Automobilwoche, released online on April 2, 2023. He said that Volkswagen won’t launch an all-new electric Golf until it becomes possible to do so with the signature elements, such as a flatter roof compared to the ID.3. Probed further with a question that will it arrive directly based on the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP), which should come in 2028, the brand boss said: “Exactly. Before that, we don’t do electric Golf.”

A budget model like the ID. Golf wouldn’t get the best specifications as it’d need to be affordable. Around 300 miles of WLTP range will likely be sufficient for most customers. The ID. Golf could beat the ID.3 on aspects like space, simplicity, and affordability instead.

SSP is Volkswagen Group’s future mechatronics platform, the successor of MQB, MSB, MLB, as well as MEB and PPE. There’ll be multiple versions of this platform, though. For example, SSP Sport will underpin various Porsche models. Mass-market brands like Volkswagen and Skoda will go for a basic version. The ID. Golf will benefit from Volkswagen Group’s future in-house software platform E³ 2.0 as well, which the company plans to roll out across brands with the SSP.

We have defined the technology profiles for our Scalable Systems Platform – a scalable modular system that we will roll out at all brands by the end of the decade. To that end, we have allocated power ranges to the brand groups so that there will be no more overlaps in future. That allows us to leverage synergies even more effectively going forward.

Oliver Blume, CEO, Volkswagen Group (Extraordinary General Meeting on December 16, 2022)

The “fight” for a new VW Golf Electric

December 2022 wasn’t the first time we heard of a new VW Golf Electric. On February 21, 2022, YouTube channel Autogefühl posted an interaction with Klaus Zyciora, the former Head of Design at Volkswagen Group, where he signaled the comeback of the VW Golf EV (VW e-Golf):

I will also fight for an electric, full-electric reincarnation of the Golf. Once the combustion age comes to an end, there need to be a VW Golf full electric.

Klaus Zyciora, former Head of Design, Volkswagen Group (Discussion with Autogefühl’s Thomas Majchrzak on February 21, 2022)

Zyciora, a high-profile name in the field of automotive design, is behind the sixth, seventh, and eighth generations of the VW Golf, including the VW e-Golf that broke cover at IAA 2013 and was sold between 2014 and 2021.

VW e-Golf in the U.S.

The VW e-Golf went on sale in the U.S. as a 2015 model in November 2014, starting at USD 35,445 (excl. USD 820 destination fee). Initially, the all-electric compact hatchback delivered an extremely low EPA-est. range of 83 miles from its puny 24.2 kWh battery pack.

With facelift for the model year 2017, the EPA-est. range increased by 50% to 125 miles, thanks to the 35.8 kWh battery pack. It was considerably more affordable, too, with a starting price of USD 30,495 (excl. USD 820 destination fee). 2019 was the final model year for the electric hatchback.

Volkswagen expects EVs to account for at least 70% of sales in Europe by 2030 and plans to only produce electric vehicles in the continent from 2033. In the U.S. and China, the company expects EVs to contribute more than 50% to its sales by 2030.

TopElectricSUV says

The VW Golf was originally designed as an affordable car for everyday use. From commuting to running errands, it was designed to be a versatile vehicle. There is no doubt that VW engineers and designers will capture this spirit in their future EV, but to what extent remains to be seen.

Featured Image: TopElectricSUV’s rendering of a futuristic VW e-Golf