June 2019, to be precise.
As we know, Volkswagen is trying to reinvent itself as a premium electric car maker in the hope that you'll forget all about dieselgate. In 2019, production of VW's new electric I.D. range will begin, starting with a production version of the original I.D. hatchback slated to arrive in Europe in 2020, while the I.D. Crozz SUV will arrive in America first. Don't think, however, that the German automaker has forgotten about its core models like its best-selling Golf hatchback, which is one of the automaker's most important models.
First launched in 1974, the fabled hatchback is currently in its seventh generation which is a staggeringly long life for a single model. It will soon be replaced by an all-new eighth generation model, which we now know will be going into production next year – or June 2019, to be precise. The announcement was made at Volkswagen's recent "Golf 8 Supplier Summit," where the German automaker revealed that the new Golf has reached its second stage of development. "Together with the I.D family, the introduction of the upcoming Golf generation will be the most strategically important product launch for the brand," Ralf Brandstätter, Volkswagen's board member for procurement, said.
Brandstätter revealed the new Golf's production plans to 180 top managers of the brand's 120 key suppliers. 80 percent of all suppliers for the next Golf are already under contract for the current Golf. "This is a sign of considerable mutual loyalty, creates a broad basis of trust and provides greater security for planning," said Brandstätte. Currently, the Golf is sold in 108 countries worldwide and has sold over 35 million cars since launching in 1974. For the all-new next generation Golf, Volkswagen has invested a whopping €1.8 billion (around $2.2 billion) into its development. It will be built at the revamped Wolfsburg production facility, where VW already produces 2,000 Golfs a day.
Overseeing the next generation Golf is Karlheinz Hell, Head of VW's Compact series group, who is basing the new Golf's philosophy around connectivity and autonomous driving. "The next Golf will take Volkswagen into the era of fully connected vehicles with extended autonomous driving functions," said Hell. "It will have more software on board than ever before. It will always be online and its digital cockpit and assistance systems will be the benchmark in terms of connectivity and safety." A teaser sketch of the new 2019 Volkswagen Golf has been revealed, but it doesn't give us many clues about the design changes. Given how iconic the Golf is, don't expect the new model to be radically redesigned.
No word yet on the next generation Golf GTI and R models, but rumors suggest they will have more power and less weight, with the range-topping Golf R packing 350-hp to rival the Focus RS.