Volkswagen Teases the Facelifted Mk8.5 Golf with Official Spy Shots

10 January 2024

The upcoming Mk8.5 Golf showcases a revamped interior and subtle exterior changes, giving fans a glimpse of what to expect from Volkswagen’s latest iteration of the iconic hatchback.

Volkswagen has released a set of official spy shots, offering a sneak peek at the facelifted Mk8.5 Golf. While the official unveiling is scheduled for later this month, these high-definition images give us a glimpse of the revamped interior and subtle exterior changes. The new Golf not only showcases Volkswagen’s latest infotainment technology but also addresses some of the criticisms surrounding the current Mk8’s interior layout.

A Revamped Interior with Enhanced Infotainment System

The interior images of the 2025 Golf GTI reveal a significant update in terms of the infotainment system. Volkswagen has replaced the relatively small embedded infotainment display with a larger tablet-style screen, similar to those found in recent VW models such as the ID.7, revised ID.4, and the new Euro-market Passat and Tiguan. This revised display not only offers a more logical interface but also incorporates user-friendly heater controls that are visible even in the dark. These changes aim to address previous complaints about the current setup and enhance the overall user experience. Additionally, the reintroduction of physical buttons on the steering wheel is set to please VW enthusiasts who were dissatisfied with the touch-sensitive buttons on the previous model.

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Subtle Exterior Changes Reflecting Volkswagen’s Signature Design Language

While the exterior changes on the Mk8.5 Golf are relatively minor, they are still noticeable. The front bumpers now feature unique hockey-stick-shaped body-color elements that add a touch of flair, reaching diagonally upwards from the bottom corner of each grille. This design element gives the Golf a distinctive look, reminiscent of a crab shoveling mini sea critters into its mouth. The rear spoiler appears similar to the one found on the Euro-market Clubsport, and the optional 19-inch Estoril rims further enhance the sporty aesthetic of the car.

Powertrain Updates and the Future of the Golf GTI

Volkswagen has not provided specific details about the powertrain changes in the Mk8.5 Golf. However, it is expected that the GTI variant will retain the proven 2.0-liter turbo-four engine, potentially with a slight increase in power output. The current base GTI delivers 241 horsepower (245 PS), and the updated model may match or even exceed the 261 horsepower (265 PS) found in the 2.0-liter Tiguan. While powertrain changes are anticipated, it is worth noting that the manual-shift transmission option, beloved by enthusiasts, has already been discontinued in Europe and will no longer be available in U.S. cars after the 2024 model year.

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With the release of official spy shots, Volkswagen has given enthusiasts a taste of what to expect from the upcoming Mk8.5 Golf. The revamped interior, featuring an enhanced infotainment system and the return of physical buttons on the steering wheel, addresses previous criticisms and aims to provide a more user-friendly experience. The subtle exterior changes, including unique body-color elements and sporty wheels, reflect Volkswagen’s signature design language. As we eagerly await the official unveiling, it remains to be seen how the powertrain updates will shape the future of the Golf GTI.

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