Volkswagen is set to bid auf wiedersehen to its legendary Golf as plans have been laid for the Mk8 model currently in production to be the last with an internal combustion engine.
VW first launched the Golf in 1974.and the nameplate has legendary status. It is the most-built VW of all time, it’s GTI hot hatches through all generation have a cult following and it’s been the best-selling car in Europe for the last 14 years and remains one of the most popular family hatchbacks in Britain’s showrooms.
However, VW’s switch to electric cars means today’s eighth-generation version will be its last with a petrol engine.
While the Beetle may be the most recognisable of the firm’s output, the Golf is the big underdog story, and some of the names associated with the compact model are from across the world of celebrity and Royalty.
Princess Diana was known to love a pale blue VW Golf, which she bought herself in 1979 before she and Charles became a couple. Nearly 20 years later Kate Middleton picked the same model but in a slightly darker blue colour when she was at university.
She and Prince William were often said to have been seen in the low-key vehicle as their fairytale romance first took flight.
With her flatmate Virginia Pitman and her prized Volkswagen Golf, which Diana acquired in 1979
It even gets a Royal seal of approval!In 2005, Prince William was photographed behind the wheel of then-girlfriend Kate Middleton’s VW Golf hatchback
Popemobile: Pope Benedict sold his VW Golf when he was made Pope in 2005
Facebook guru Mark Zuckerberg is another VW Golf fan that could cause a few eyebrows to raise.
Despite his mega-money wealth, Mr Zuckerberg seems to favour a cheaper option than his rich peers.
Wayne Rooney is also known to have a Golf and Rishi Sunak has one among his family’s number of motors.
And even religion seems to love the iconic car design.
When Joseph Ratzinger was appointed the head of the Catholic Church in 2005 to become Pope Benedict he had to get rid of his car.
The metallic grey Volkswagen Golf had been bought new in 1999 and eventually found its way onto ebay login with google.
Wayne Rooney has been seen in a VW Golf when he played for Manchester United for training
This Volkswagen Golf is similar to the model that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg drives around
Fans of the Beastie Boys would steal VW badges off the front of cars to emulate their heroes
The Golf was popular with Beastie Boys fans – as were all of the company’s motors featuring the recognisable badge.
Fans would steal them off the front grill and wear them around their neck on a chain, like the band.
The Golf 8 – which starts from £26,565 in the UK – is almost certain to be VW’s last to be powered by a combustion engine.
Bosses have confirmed that the next-generation T-Roc crossover due in 2026 will be its final new combustion engine model to launch before it fully commits to going electric.
This ultimately means a petrol Golf 9 will not follow the car that’s currently on sale.
Volkswagen will give the existing eighth-generation model a mid-lifecycle ‘facelift’ with minor tweaks and upgrades next year before it draws the curtain on the combustion Golf for good.
‘With that, the car is set until the end of the decade.Then we have to see how this segment develops,’ Thomas Schaefer, CEO of VW cars, told auto publication on Sunday.
‘If the world develops completely differently than expected by 2026 or 2027, we could develop a totally new vehicle – but I don’t think it will.So far that is not expected.’
Is this the end of the road for the iconic Golf?Volkswagen has hinted that the Mk8 version currently on sale will be its last with a combustion engine as it looks to focus on EV production
The VW Golf arrived on the market in 1974 and two years later the GTI hot hatch followed to earn it cult status
The Golf badge has been used across eight generations of the family hatchback.It has been among the best-selling models in the UK and Europe for the last 49 years
He explained that VW is not abandoning its iconic names – like Golf and GTI – and hopes to use them in its next-generation electric vehicles.
But Mr Schaefer reiterated that VW will not mindless pass along the Golf nameplate and said must be given to a car that will ‘fit the genes’ of iconic vehicle.
VW did briefly sell all-electric e-Golf models in the UK between 2014 and 2020, but it was culled from the range when it launched its ID.3 EV.
The CEO, referencing the scrapped plan, said VW won’t build the electric Golf until after the company’s new Scalable Systems Platform is built.
The Golf is the most-produced Volkswagen model of all time, having overtaken sales of the VW Beetle in 2002
VW did briefly sell all-electric e-Golf models (pictured) in the UK between 2014 and 2020, but it was culled from the range when it launched its ID.3 EV.The end of the combustion engine Golf is part of the German car giant’s efforts to shift to electric vehicles
Volkswagen bosses said the Golf name would likely be used for a future EV model, but only one that ‘fits the genes’ of its most iconic vehicle
The Mk8 Golf (pictured) starts from £26,565 in the UK.With VW’s plans to sell only electric cars in Europe from 2033, it looks set to be the last Golf to be powered by a combustion engine
Bosses suggested the 2024 facelift to the Mk8 Golf will see it through to the end of the decade.New petrol and diesel car sales are set to be banned in the UK from 2030
Volkswagen is doubling down on its transition to electric vehicles and plans to sell only EVs in Europe from 2033.
The company’s decision not to invest in upgrading the Golf is a marker of the shift in investment by the car maker from retooling combustion engines to bringing down the cost of electric vehicles.
<div class="art-ins mol-factbox floatRHS money" data-version="2" id="mol-3110cb30-d2d3-11ed-9dfb-71af0e1023df" website legendary hatchback with a royal seal of approval: The VW Golf