Toyota confirms bizarre LC300 pledge! And strict agreement banning resale hasn't been ruled out for Australia
Toyota has confirmed the bizarre pledge it will ask its customers to sign is in...
Browse over 9,000 car reviews
Volkswagen has just launched the eighth generation of its long-running and enormously successful Golf hatchback in Australia, but with its all-electric ID.3 sibling proving popular in Europe, and the brand pressing for a lower global carbon footprint, is there a future for Golf past this generation?
Speaking to CarsGuide at the launch, both product and services manager Jeff Shafer, and communications boss Paul Pottinger reiterated the Golf was “likely to continue”, if not in Europe, then globally for at least one more generation.
“It’s fair to assume this one will live out its entire life cycle, including an update, but beyond then it’s hard to say. It’s true, there’s a lot of brand value in Golf, and I’d say it’s likely to continue beyond this generation, if not in Europe then globally,” explained Mr Shafer.
Mr Pottinger was of the same mind: “I’d say it will continue for one more generation, but nothing is set in stone,” he said. “There’s huge demand in Europe for ID.3.”
Curiously this new-generation Golf has carryover engines in our market, and its MQB underpinnings are largely the same as the Golf 7.5, although with a heavy electrical and software re-work, and a sharp increase in standard safety equipment.
The base 110 TSI is now paired with an eight-speed Aisin torque converter automatic transmission, trading out the brand’s signature seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
This is because the older 110 TSI engine is no longer built with the dual clutch in its home market of Europe, where it has been replaced by a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder ‘Evo’ engine that requires higher quality fuel than is available in Australia – at least until the federal government’s refinery upgrade plans come into fruition in a few years.
The brand has expressed excitement about these plans, with Mr Pottinger telling CarsGuide: “This lets us talk about models that we couldn’t before.”
In the case of the Golf, this could mean good news for fans of both electrification and performance, with Mr Pottinger going on to explain the opportunity for the brand when it comes to historically unpopular PHEVs.
“It depends on the model – if its virtues are, for example, performance, there might be a case for it there. Golf GTE? this is a real possibility; it offers performance somewhere between GTI and R as well as fuel efficiency,” he said.
The GTE could be slated for the Golf’s mid-life ‘8.5’ update, perhaps even arriving alongside the 1.5-litre ‘Evo’ engines if the federal government’s proposed fuel standards improvements actually happen by 2024.
CarsGuide understands as it is early days the brand is only tentatively looking at what other models it can bring in, with Mr Shafer confirming: “There are still certain costs with preparing PHEVs for our market, when it comes to dealer network and workshop training, so you don’t want to be too niche” when asked about a halo variant like the Arteon eHybrid.
The Golf-sized ID.3, which could still be Australia’s most affordable EV when it arrives in 2023, offers between 350 and 550km of range depending on variant, and according to the brand, could start from as low as $40k.