Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars, says the current MK8 Golf will be the last with an internal combustion engine. The MK9 generation Golf, expected towards the end of this decade, will be electric. Schäfer assures enthusiasts that the spirit of the Golf / GTI / R will stay intact… and that they’re not just slapping well-known names on generic EVs. 

Volkswagen Golf electric

Let me break off for a second: I owned a MK1 GTI for decades…

And a MK6 GTI for a few years. And I’ll go out on a limb & say I think the GTI has been losing ‘spirit’ for generations now. While the performance of the GTI & R has become exceedingly impressive, the car has evolved into more of a point-&-shoot missile than an all-encompassing driving experience. So in Schäfer’s defense, going electric seems kind of expected & evolutionary for the Golf / GTI / R nameplate at this point honestly. It’s not a huge shocker when you see the direction that Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche are going. 

But I will also say… that the modern GTI / R’s true spirit can still be tapped & amplified in the aftermarket. The car is incredibly mod-responsive. And when the GTI / R goes electric, it will have huge implications on the aftermarket side of Volkswagen tuning. That is – if government hasn’t already slit the throat of the aftermarket by then. 

Volkswagen Golf electric

For what it’s worth, Schäfer did give himself & Volkswagen ‘an out’ though…

Saying that if the world & regulations veer drastically from what they think it will be late this decade… they could still pivot and run internal combustion engines in the MK9. 

Volkswagen golf electric

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