Volkswagen is dropping intriguing hints on social media, suggesting the return of the Rabbit badge, possibly in the form of a special-edition Golf GTI.
This could be a 40th-anniversary tribute to the original US-market Rabbit GTI. While Volkswagen has a history of celebrating anniversaries, these teasers are from Germany, suggesting it’s not a US-exclusive model.
The Rabbit nameplate first graced the North American market with the debut of the first-generation Golf in 1975. However, it wasn’t until 1983, 40 years ago, that the GTI version was introduced. The Rabbit name has made several appearances in the US, including on the Mk5 Golf and a GTI Rabbit Edition for the Mk7. Notably, the Rabbit quickly became Volkswagen’s best-selling model, outpacing the Beetle and higher-priced models of its time.
What remains uncertain is whether this new badge will herald an all-electric vehicle or signify different stages of electrification, like mild-hybrid or plug-in hybrid. Volkswagen’s brand CEO, Thomas Schäfer, has expressed the belief that heritage nameplates like Golf and GTI should continue in the company’s all-electric future. Speculation is rife about Volkswagen releasing an electric Rabbit, possibly named the E-Rabbit, as part of its transition to an electric lineup.
Adding to the intrigue, the teasers feature the hashtag #OneFuture, which appears to link to VW’s ACCELERATE electrification strategy. This strategy aims to achieve 70% EV sales in Europe by 2030 under the Volkswagen brand and 50% in markets like the US and China. Volkswagen also has plans to go fully electric in Europe by 2035.
So, while the return of the Rabbit badge suggests a special edition GTI, it could also signify Volkswagen’s commitment to electrification, possibly hinting at an all-electric or electrified version of this iconic model. The details will be unveiled shortly, keep an eye out for more information as our Editorial Director, Ian McLaren will be joining VWAG at the event this coming Sunday.