Volkswagen is not letting its iconic Golf brand ride off into the sunset as the auto industry trades in its gas-powered cars for upgraded zero-emission EVs. Instead, the Golf brand will live on as the VW ID 2 urban EV with the company’s next-gen MEB-Plus platform.
After ending production of the e-golf electric car in December 2020 to focus on a new generation of EVs, VW announced in 2021 it was planning to wind down Golf sales in North America, leading many to question if the automaker would leave the brand in the past.
VW CEO of passenger cars, Thomas Shafer, was quick to shoot this down, claiming this past November in a separate interview with Autocar there was no way “we would let go of the Golf name.”
Shafer explained at the LA Auto Show:
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.
As Volkswagen looks to make its “ID” brand synonymous with electric vehicles and sustainability, Shafer says EV models don’t necessarily need a number like the ID 3 and popular ID 4 models, hinting “we might have an ID Golf” in the works.
Although earlier indications pointed to the ID 3 replacing the VW Golf brand, Shafer reiterated that was not the case, saying the ID 3 wasn’t intended to replace the Golf. It’s more of a “Golf Plus.”
With VW’s eighth-generation Golf model set to retire in 2027 or 2028, an electric model is widely expected to replace it.
VW Golf to be restored as ID 2 EV
According to insider sources speaking with Autocar, Volkswagen has completely redesigned the ID 2, its smallest electric car, from the inside out with the proposed ID Golf naming.
Although nothing is official, the sources say several naming combinations, including the ID Golf, have been proposed recently.
Instead of previous comparisons to the ID 3, the sources claim “the true value of the Volkswagen Golf lies in a car the size of the ID 2.”
The Volkswagen brand recently brought back former Bentley and Audi designer Andreas Mindt to lead the automaker’s EV efforts, including a more conventional hatchback shape for the proposed ID Golf model.
Those familiar with the early proposals say it’s about in the middle of the VW Polo and Golf ICE vehicles in terms of exterior dimensions.
In addition, the ID 2 (or ID Golf, if you will) will be lightweight (1600 to 1700kg) and is set to be offered with a single motor (FWD), while the MEB Plus platform would support a dual motor (4-wheel drive) model.
Shafer giving the okay for the GTI badge return could also pave the way for a VW Golf GTI in the future.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, VW letting the Golf brand die would be a mistake. It’s one of the automaker’s most recognizable brands.
Other automakers like Ford and GM are carrying legacy favorites into the electric era, with brands like F-150, Mustang, Blazer, and Silverado making a comeback.
It’s not to say that VW can’t do it without the Golf brand, but if the size and performance are comparable, why not? Under Shafer, the upgrades to the ID 2 are part of a “comprehensive reset” for the Volkswagen brand. We’ll see how it plays out.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.