Volkswagen Teases Golf 8.5 at CES: can solve all the problems?

A camouflaged GTI prototype at CES Las Vegas has offered a sneak peek into the upcoming Volkswagen Golf 8.5, set to be a mid-life facelift for the latest generation of the German compact car. The eighth edition of the Golf had drawn criticism for a noticeable decline in build quality, prompting Volkswagen to revamp its approach in the mid-cycle refresh.

Following the trend set by the ID.3, the 2024 Golf is expected to feature improved materials and bid farewell to the unpopular soft-touch buttons on the steering wheel and dashboard. Instead, it will adopt a larger central display and a new infotainment system with a voice assistant powered by Chat GPT.

Volkswagen Golf 8.5: First Glimpses

Amidst a complete internal revolution following a change in CEO, Volkswagen plans to unveil the final design of the Golf 8.5 by the end of January (24th January, save the date). Official spy photos released by the German automaker provide some insights into the upcoming changes.

Volkswagen Golf 8.5
Image: Volkswagen

The MQB platform-based C-segment cars within the Volkswagen Group are in for a significant update this year. Alongside the Golf 8.5, the Cupra Formentor and Leon, as well as the Skoda Octavia, are all slated for a refresh.

Volkswagen Golf 8.5
Image: Volkswagen

The front of the Golf reveals a redesigned LED configuration in the headlights, while the rear showcases a new tailgate design. Notably, the pixel LED pattern in the taillights draws inspiration from the ID.7 and the new Passat.

Volkswagen Golf 8.5
Image: Volkswagen

However, the most substantial changes lie within the interior. The steering wheel reverts to a physical button layout, and the dashboard adopts a new configuration. Instead of two integrated screens, the central display is now larger and independent. Expect refined plastics and fresh upholstery options to enhance the overall interior aesthetics.

The Last Combustion-Powered Golf

The Volkswagen Golf 2024 marks the end of an era as the last Golf with an internal combustion engine. The next iteration is set to be an electric model, potentially serving as the successor to both the current generation and the existing ID.3.

Volkswagen Golf 8.5
Image: Volkswagen

Regarding the powertrain, the base Golf is expected to maintain its range of petrol and diesel engines, including mild hybrid options and a plug-in hybrid variant with up to 204 horsepower. The GTI variant, however, might receive a power boost from 245 to 265 HP, aligning it with the performance upgrade seen in the Tiguan.

As the automotive industry shifts towards electrification, the Volkswagen Golf 2024 aims to blend tradition with innovation, offering a refreshed design and upgraded features to maintain its standing as a popular choice in the compact car segment. Stay tuned for the official unveiling at the end of January for a closer look at the finalized design and specifications.

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