Following a mid-cycle facelift planned for the current model in 2024, the VW Golf will live to see a ninth generation later this decade. It’ll do away with the combustion engines and become a purely electric model positioned below the ID.3. The folks from Wolfsburg have already announced the “GTI” and “R” hot hatches will soldier on in the EV era, and a new report from Autocar states the latter version is already planned.
As previously reported, the ID.2 riding on the upcoming front-wheel-drive-based MEB-Plus platform could ultimately get the Golf moniker and spawn a GTI. The British magazine has it on good authority the new architecture is being engineered to accommodate a dual-motor setup, thus opening the possibility for an all-paw R. An AWD system is also being considered for a crossover version of the ID.2 to mirror the relationships between the Polo / T-Cross and the Golf / T-Roc.
It was May 2021 when VW unveiled the ID.X as a conceptual hot hatch with AWD and a healthy 329 horsepower (245 kilowatts) for a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) sprint in 5.3 seconds. A production version, tentatively carrying the “GTX” suffix, is coming sooner rather than later, based on the ID.3 facelift. It’s too soon to say whether the all-electric Golf R would be able to match that punch given the different architecture.
The ID.2 is scheduled to go on sale in 2025, so any performance derivatives are scheduled to arrive in the latter half of the decade. With the Touareg R, VW’s R has already (partially) embraced electrification by giving the posh SUV a plug-in hybrid powertrain consisting of a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 and an electric motor. It’s good for a total output of 456 hp and 516 lb-ft (702 Nm).
It’ll be interesting which direction the next-gen Tiguan R as the smaller crossover will transition to the third generation later this year. If VW intends to give it the R treatment, we won’t be too surprised if it’ll be a PHEV as well seeing as how Euro 7 regulations are looming.