In an extended interview with the German publication Automobilwoche, Volkswagen brand CEO Thomas Schäfer spoke about what the future has in tow for the Wolfsburg marque. Inevitably, the discussion revolved around electric vehicles and how the zero-emission push signals the beginning of the end for cars equipped with internal combustion engines. To that end, the head honcho revealed VW is nearly done with launching new ICE-powered cars.
Later this year, the German brand intends to launch the next-generation Passat (only as a wagon) and Tiguan. Come 2024, a new Tayron (compact crossover for China) will follow, along with a revamped T-Roc in 2025. Schäfer says these will be the final next-gen ICE cars and will be available into the 2030s: "T-Roc is the last new combustion engine in Europe that we see on the horizon. Of course, the others get even bigger product upgrades. But completely new vehicles are not in the plan after that, at least not so far."
2023 VW Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition
What about the Golf? A "major product upgrade" will be introduced in 2024 to keep the model fresh and competitive until the end of the decade. A ninth generation with gasoline/diesel engines is not planned, but VW's top brass doesn't completely rule it out: "If the world develops completely differently than expected by 2026 or 2027, then we can also launch a completely new vehicle. I do not believe that. So far this is not planned."
Elsewhere, Schäfer hinted the end is nigh for the Polo as the upcoming Euro 7 emissions regulations will make the supermini too expensive after adding a hybrid setup. He went on to say it would end up costing just about as much as the 2025 ID.2all, and "you have to ask yourself whether that still makes sense" to sell the ICE-powered subcompact hatchback.
A compact electric crossover manufactured in Wolfsburg will be launched in 2026 and the man in charge at VW said it could be called the ID. Tiguan. The company intends to keep iconic names alive in the EV era, so the Golf and Tiguan monikers won't be retired after the ICE age is over. Schäfer said an electric Golf on the MEB/MEB+ platform is not planned and it'll only happen on the upcoming SSP architecture, so after 2028.
VW intends to sell only EVs in Europe from 2023, two years before the sales ban on new cars with combustion engines will come into effect in the European Union.