The ID.3 was supposed to completely replace the Golf family of hatchbacks, just like the Golf replaced the Beetle. However, three years after going on sale, the company now says it’s unwilling to give up on the Golf GTI and Golf R nameplates and plans to keep them, even though in the electric car era.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show, VW boss Thomas Schafer has made some pretty interesting but difficult-to-comprehend statements. However, the essence of it seems to be that there will be a Golf GTI among the electric cars. No, not an ID.3 or ID.4 GTI, but an ID Golf GTI… which is pretty strange.
“There is a connection with VW and ID, and there is no need to cancel [ID],” Schafer told Autocar. “We have iconic brand names, Golf and GTI. It would be crazy to let them die and slip away. We will stick with the ID logic but iconic models will carry a name.”
He even gave an example, the ID Buzz which is an ID model but also has the Buzz name to denote its connection to the Bus/Bulli. So Volkswagen might have an “ID Golf” as the company boss doesn’t think “we would not let go of the Golf name, no way.”
Why VW is saying this and how it contradicts the narrative
I find that this latest statement contradicts the VW narrative. The ID.3 was supposed to replace the Golf, which is probably going to be discontinued at the end of this generation.
What’s interesting here is that the statement was made at the LA Auto Show, so it basically represents VW’s view of the American market, not necessarily Europe and the rest of the world. VW USA has already discontinued the regular Golf hatchback and wagon, but kept the GTI and R, without which the company really wouldn’t have a halo car, something interesting to talk about.
The ID.3 / ID Golf GTI would have the same 231 PS/ 229 hp motor at the back as the Spanish Cupra Born model. And the ID.3 / ID Golf R would have the same setup as the ID X concept of 2021: dual motors with 329 horsepower.
The last hot hatchbacks ever made will be in…
Volkswagen, as you’re probably aware, has many more brands than just Audi. And the Cupra brand, known for hot hatchbacks, has stated it will go emissions-free before 2030. So that’s the end of the 2.0 TSI, but hot hatch models could be discontinued a bit sooner than that, around 2027, when the current generations expire, leaving just some crossovers.
It’s not just VW, though. Other brands are getting rid of their hatchback models and in turn, can’t make the hot versions. Peugeot did that already with the 308 GTi. The famous Renault Megane RS, probably the best European track car with FWD, will be retired in 2023.
Another good one is the Ford Focus ST, still sold in Europe with a powerful 2.3-liter EcoBoost. Ford says it will stop making the Focus in 2023. So that just leaves the Honda Civic Type R.