VW persist with EV plans for ID.1 and new Golf

The VW ID.1 could arrive as the final VW e-up! successor later this decade. Volkswagen has begun initial planning but faces challenges in bringing the new electric city car to the market. The slowdown in EV sales is not one of them.

Meanwhile, after confirming the launch of an all-new Golf EV, Volkswagen has started early design work on the car. That’s a new development coming directly from Thomas Schäfer, the CEO of the brand. This time around, the Golf EV will be a high-volume car offered widely across Europe and possibly even in other regions.

ID.1 stays on course

On May 8, at the Financial Times Future of the Car Summit in London, Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schäfer briefly discussed launching a VW ID.1 as the successor to the e-up! the production of which ended in 2023.

While Schäfer admitted several factors would affect the decision of whether to launch a VW ID.1 or not, the current EV slump in Europe is certainly not one of them. Volkswagen is trying to conclude this matter before summer. The VW ID.1 would belong to a very price-sensitive segment, so the company would need to bring its A-game in cost.

Unless Volkswagen develops a new platform for city cars – and using their ‘Chinese platform is apparently not an option – a partnership with another automaker seems to be the only plausible way to go for the ID.1.

There is a rumor in the media that the company may borrow Renault’s next-gen Twingo platform for this car. In that case, it may also outsource the production for better economies of scale.

The decision to launch a VW ID.1 also depends on the available technology at the desired price point, be it indigenously or through a collaboration with another automaker. Volkswagen is considering a range of 300 km for this model. If everything works out, the company may formally announce the ID.1 in the second half of this year.

VW CEO Schäfer at the presentation of the ID.All concept previewing the ID.2, coming in 2025 /Volkswagen

Ninth-generation Golf will be only EV

With a history of five decades, eight generations, and more than 37 million units in cumulative sales, the VW Golf is an icon in the auto industry. In line with its long-term goal of converting at least 80% of sales in Europe to EVs by 2030 and ending ICE model production by 2032, Volkswagen has begun formulating the course of action for the future of its global bestseller.

Until now, 8 generations of Golf have already seen the light /Volkswagen

A company official has reaffirmed that the next-gen VW Golf will be fully electric and will not return to the ICE world. Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schäfer reaffirmed that an all-new VW Golf EV is in the pipeline.

Schäfer discussed how the SUV hype is showing no signs of decline. When quizzed on whether that would pose a threat to the Golf’s existence in the future, he said that the Golf is a timeless car that caters to a wide range of customers, from students to CEOs.

Schäfer added that launching an all-new Golf with combustion engines won’t be feasible. He revealed that the next-gen VW Golf, whenever it arrives, will be electric. The Volkswagen boss also ruled out the possibility of launching the next-gen Golf EV as ID. Golf, as was previously speculated.

“From the proportions to performance, this car will be purely a Golf, so Volkswagen will only call it Golf,” Schäfer said. By proportions, it’s obvious that Schäfer was referring to the Golf’s flatter and more space-focused roofline compared to the ID.3.

During an interview in April 2023, he told Automobilwoche that Volkswagen would only launch the next-gen Golf EV when it becomes possible to offer the car with “Golf genes,” mentioning a flatter roof compared to the ID. 3 as an example. That was right after he said that the company would “transfer” the iconic Golf name to the electric world.

While there was a full EV version of previous Golfs, the 8th generation is only a plug-in hybrid. For a full electric, customers have to turn to ID.3. That will change again with the ninth generation in 2028 /Volkswagen

Design and development has started

Volkswagen has started designing the next-gen Golf EV. Schäfer said at the Future of the Car Summit that the company has created the first design sketches of the future electric compact hatchback. However, he didn’t reveal any specific details.

Such information may remain closely guarded for a few more years in Walhalla, the top-secret hall at Volkswagen’s design center in Germany. During the interview with Automobilwoche, Schäfer said that Volkswagen plans to engineer the next-gen Golf EV on the SSP mechatronics platform and thus won’t make it before 2028.

Until the next-gen Golf EV arrives at the end of the decade, Volkswagen will continue relying on the new ID.3, which it refreshed last year. And just back on 5 May, the company rolled out a significant upgrade for the car’s Pro S trim.

It replaced the 150 kW (204 PS) motor with a 170 kW unit, the 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a 12.9-inch unit featuring ChatGPT, the instrument cluster housing-mounted gear selector with a steering column switch-type gear selector, and the non-illuminated touch sliders with new ones featuring backlighting.

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