Volkswagen renewed the Golf GTI and Golf R for the 2022 model year, giving them more power and go-fast trickery. The cars’ turbocharged engines are living on borrowed time, however, as a report from Autocar suggests the hot hatchbacks are going electric later this decade.
The cars are expected to get a mid-cycle refresh in 2024, extending the eighth generation for a few more years. VW has confirmed that both cars would remain a part of its lineup even as it goes electric, and the report claims it already has the Golf R targeted for electrification. The car could get dual motors and 300 or more horsepower out of the deal.
Volkswagen’s R brand will follow its parent company to become fully electric by 2030, and the automaker has promised several new R-branded performance EVs. Autocar reported that the MEB Entry platform, upon which the upcoming ID.2 will ride, is capable of underpinning small SUVs and hatchbacks, so there’s a viable path forward from an engineering standpoint.
VW CEO Thomas Schäfer told Autocar the company would retain the Golf name into the electric era, saying, “with a strong brand, you need to spend less getting it out there.” Using the GTI and R monikers gives VW a strong basis for name recognition and brand perception, making the launch and marketing costs less painful.
It’s unclear when or if a VW performance EV could land here. The automaker recently teased the new ID.7 sedan at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but it’s too early to tell if the new EV will offer a performance variant. American buyers have been enthusiastic about the company’s hot hatches, as they were a major reason VW continued offering manual transmissions in the current gas-powered GTI and Golf R. Now, the company just has to figure out how to translate that to an electrified hatchback.
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