Hatchbacks

2020 VW Golf debut delayed because of software setbacks, report says

Its European launch is expected to take place in late February, but the unveiling date is still unknown.

Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow

Originally, it was believed that Volkswagen would introduce the eighth generation of its venerable Golf at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Now, it appears that won't be the case, as delays have beset VW's compact car.

Software issues have pushed back the unveiling of the eighth-generation VW Golf, Automotive News Europe reports, citing an interview with board member Jürgen Stackmann at the Shanghai Motor Show. "We've never hid the fact that software, an area of extreme importance for products in the future, is a serious challenge for us," Stackmann told ANE. "We have our homework ahead of us, and the teams are under heavy pressure."

Specifically, ANE's report highlights one area where it's taking some time to get the software right -- over-the-air (OTA) updates. This new kind of vehicle update allows an automaker to beam patches and possibly even new features directly to a vehicle, instead of requiring it to return to the dealer for a physical update. Stackmann specifically pointed to OTA security and homologation requirements in various markets when ANE asked about specific instances causing the delay.

It's not the newest compact on the block, but the seventh-generation Golf is still a compelling buy in the US, offering solid build quality on a platform that's rewarding to drive.

Volkswagen

"You're adding content to a vehicle afterwards, and this is an area where we are working together with the type approval agencies to define these processes. It is new for them as well," Stackmann told ANE.

The issues will allegedly affect the beginning of the eighth-gen Golf's production, too. Germany's Der Spiegel reported earlier this month that, instead of building 80,000 Golfs this year as planned, VW will build about 10,000. VW confirmed this move to Der Spiegel, but nevertheless, the automaker remains on target to have the cars on sale in Germany on or around Feb. 24 of next year, with the rest of Europe to follow. The US generally receives a new Golf about a year after the Europeans do, so hopefully VW hammers out all those bumps well ahead of its stateside debut.

In lieu of a new Golf to display in Frankfurt, Volkswagen will instead reveal the production version of the ID electric hatchback, which ANE first reported this March. The ID hatch, which might be called the ID Neo, will be Europe's first foray into Volkswagen's new all-electric lineup. In the US, that honor will go to the ID Crozz crossover.