VW Golf will be EV-only from 2028
The next-generation VW Golf looks set to be an all-electric model and could be the first VW to use the new SSP architecture when it launches in 2028. However, the Audi A3, which shares the same combustion engine platform, will likely go a different way.
Autocar reports this with reference to brand boss Thomas Schäfer. According to the British portal, the electric Golf will be positioned between the upcoming ID.2 and the ID.3. That means it will probably have an exterior length of around 4.15 metres – because the ID.2all study is 4.05 metres long, the ID.3 comes in at 4.26 metres.
However, the body’s main distinguishing feature is not the length of the new electric Golf – it will be the height. Schäfer had already explained in April that the electric Golf would need the SSP – because of the “Golf genes.” For example, the model will have “a flatter roof compared to the ID.3,” which is not possible with the MEB or the further developed MEB+. “Simply calling any vehicle that is not possible,” Schäfer said at the time.
The 1.46 metres of the Golf 8 should be taken as an indicator in terms of height. By comparison, the ID.3 is a whopping ten centimetres higher. In addition, Schäfer’s statement about the “Golf genes” has already been interpreted to mean that the electric Golf, or possibly the ID. Golf, is more likely to move back towards the four-metre mark in terms of length. The Golf 8, which recently received a model update for the next three to four years, is slightly longer (4.28 metres) than what Schäfer now confirmed for the ninth generation.
According to Autocar, the electric-powered Golf 9 will also be the first VW model to use the new SSP when it debuts in 2028. That would be a major change of plans, as for a long time, the new flagship model Trinity was intended to be the first SSP model. However, these plans date back to the time of former group CEO Herbert Diess and former brand boss Ralf Brandstätter. New group CEO Oliver Blume and Schäfer have already revised or questioned many of their predecessors’ decisions. Therefore, the VW icon Golf as the new debut model for the platform does not seem unrealistic – but it is also a risk to be the first to convert the bestseller to an entirely new platform. In return, there is the potential for the Golf 9 to be among the most advanced compact electric cars when it debuts.
The SSP was initially scheduled to debut in 2026, but is likely to be delayed due to software development issues. If the current statements are true, the target is now expected to be 2028. In the meantime, rumours have circulated that the SSP could be delayed until 2030. The delay of the SSP is also considered one of the reasons why Audi is buying an electric platform from SAIC in China – because the group’s own platform is not yet ready.
Autocar writes in another article, however, that the SSP timetable will likely influence Audi’s China model range and leave its mark in Europe. That is because, as reported, Audi only wants to launch new models on the global market from 2026 onwards that are powered purely by electricity. The latest edition of the compact A3, which until now has been based on the MQB combustion engine platform like the Golf 8, is scheduled for 2026.
However, since the SSP will not be available then, and Audi does not want to wait until 2028, the successor will use the MEB+. Oliver Hoffmann, Audi board member for technical development, told the British car magazine at the IAA Mobility. The electric successor to the Audi A3, likely to be given the model designation A2 e-tron following the brand’s change in model naming, is scheduled for 2027. As recently as May 2022, Auto, Motor und Sport had reported that the electric A3 successor would probably be based on the SSP from 2027.
That also means that the MEB+-based A2 e-tron will probably be higher than the current combustion engine generation or the Golf 9, in the style of the VW ID.3 or Cupra Born. And it will continue to be a 400-volt model, while the SSP is designed for an 800-volt system.
As reported, Audi will phase out the A1, the smallest internal combustion model to date, and the Q2 SUV. The vehicles the size of the current A3 and Q3 will then be the entry-level models in the Audi world.