A delay for Volkswagen's Project Trinity EV flagship could mean a return of the VW e-Golf, according to a report from German newspaper Handelsblatt cited by Automotive News Europe.
Production of the e-Golf, which shared a platform with gasoline and diesel versions of the compact hatchback, ended in December 2020 to make room for the ID family of electric models based on VW's MEB dedicated EV platform. But VW is now considering a new Golf EV, as well as an electric version of the Tiguan crossover, while expecting Project Trinity to be delayed until 2030, according to the report.
Teaser for Volkswagen Project Trinity due in 2026
The new electric Golf or Tiguan would use the MEB platform, and could go on sale before 2026, the report said. Production would be handled by VW's Wolfsburg, Germany, factory. VW had originally planned a $2.06 billion addition to the site for the Project Trinity EV, but the timeline for that model's launch is now being reassessed by VW CEO Oliver Blume, the report noted.
VW first started teasing its Project Trinity flagship earlier in 2021, and it said it was due in 2026. It said that technology and platform were at the center of the new project, and it was being developed from the inside out. Previous CEO Herbert Diess also said that the project would rival (and outdo) Tesla, although Diess had made versions of such claims since 2017, declaring "anything Tesla can do, we can surpass."
Blume, who replaced Diess as CEO in September, seems to be taking a more cautious approach. He wants to push the launch of Project Trinity back toward the end of the decade because certain software won't be ready in time for the original 2026 target date, according to the report.
2018 Volkswagen e-Golf electric cars on assembly line in
If that happens, the gap in product launches could be filled by an EV more in line with the affordability angle VW has emphasized with its ID models.
In the U.S., the e-Golf was a well-regarded model when it launched in late 2014 and served as a stage-setter for the ID.4 crossover. VW just marked the global delivery of 500,000 of its ID EVs, despite supply issues.
In reconstituted form, an e-Golf would almost certainly offer more range—just as the Fiat 500e is expected to when it returns to the U.S. in 2024. Increased range would certainly be possible with the MEB platform, which enables a range of up to 275 miles for the ID.4, compared to 125 miles for the old e-Golf.