The standard Volkswagen Golf is likely dead in America, but GTI and Golf R endure

2019 Volkswagen Golf

According to a report from Motor1, Volkswagen will not renew the standard for the North American market when the eighth-generation hatchback arrives this fall. Nevertheless, VW will still sell the GTI and Golf R hot hatches, although the Sportwagen will also be killed and the future of the all-wheel-drive Alltrack is unclear.

Motor1 says it got this news from a VW employee while attending a press event in California. It points out that the GTI and Golf R represented 48 percent of Golf models sold in 2018, and that the 6642 base Golfs sold last year amount to fewer than two percent of VW of America’s overall car sales.

We reached out to Volkswagen for comment and got this response from senior manager of product communications Mark Gillies: “The Golf R and GTI are confirmed, but other Golf models are under consideration for the North American Region, however.”

With the Golf out of the picture, Volkswagen’s most affordable offering would be the Jetta, starting at $19,640 with destination. Still, the Golf has been a fixture of VW’s lineup in America for decades, as well as a standard-bearer for the brand’s identity as a builder of quality economy cars.

That torch may be passed on to the all-electric I.D. hatchback, although it’s as yet unclear just how affordable the upcoming EV city car, slated to arrive as a 2020 model, will be. The I.D. will arrive first as a Germany-built model, but North American markets will later receive Chattanooga-built examples after 2022, along with the electric I.D. Crozz crossover and I.D. Buzz microbus.

All things considered, we’re thrilled that the GTI and Golf R will survive, although it is a bit disappointing to see the Golf potentially bite the dust.