We’re only a few months away from seeing the new eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf for the first time. As the October reveal date nears closer, Motor1.com has learned some eye-opening news about VW’s beloved compact hatchback, with regard to the U.S.
At an event in California this week, a high-ranking Volkswagen employee told us that the standard version of the next-gen Golf, as well as the SportWagen, won’t be available in the U.S. Only the performance variants of the new Mark VIII – the GTI and Golf R – will be available stateside. When we reached out for an official statement, Volkswagen declined to comment further.
While no official explanation was provided, a glance at the sales figures provides some insight. In 2018, the GTI and Golf R combined for 48 percent of the Golf family’s sales in America, with the GTI out-selling the standard Golf nearly three-to-one. Though none of the Golf's variants sell in massive numbers, VW only sold 6,642 base Golfs in 2018 – less than two percent of overall car sales for the brand.
This news also leaves the other models in the Golf lineup, the e-Golf and Alltrack, in question for the American market. Prior reporting indicates that the next-gen Golf will not be going full electric again, with the Europe-only Volkswagen I.D. hatchback becoming the brand's full-EV model.
Gallery: 2020 VW Golf new spy photos
Not having the standard Golf in the U.S. market signifies a major change. Chalk it up to more compact crossovers hitting the market as viable replacements, or just a shift in consumer mindsets altogether. Either way, the good news is that the two hot hatch versions of the Golf remain, and they’re already shaping up to be pretty epic.