VW's Mk8.5 Golf GTI spotted with new, angrier face

Published: 09 October 2023

► First look at updated VW Golf GTI
► Exterior update, plus new tech expected
► Expected to launch in 2024

This is our first glimpse of VW’s refreshed Golf GTI hot hatch. Volkswagen’s sporty Golf has been papped by spy photographers almost entirely without camouflage ahead of its expected launch in 2024.

The updated Golf GTI will become part of the revised Mk8.5 Golf, which will launch at the start of next year. Here though, this Golf GTI prototype gives us the best look yet at the Golf’s revised exterior design. The double-bubble-like headlight cluster of the current one has been squared off with a shallower design, and the front bumper of this GTI is a lot squarer, too. The rear, however, looks almost identical to the Mk8 model.

We’re to expect an update inside, too – as illustrated by spy shot images we’ve seen of a non-GTI model. The interior is likely to have a very similar design to the current one, save for a new infotainment system on a larger screen. The new tech will likely come in the shape of MIB4 – the infotainment system that made its debut on the VW ID.7, as well as the brand’s Tiguan and Passat. Skoda’s all-new Kodiaq and Superb feature it, too. After an early test, we’re confident in saying it’s an improvement over the old system. But, by how much will depend on some real-world testing.

Performance specifications aren’t confirmed just yet, but they’re unlikely to differ too much from the current car. Expect a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, developing around 225 horsepower and driving all of that shove to the front wheels. Insider intel also suggests that this Mk8.5 model will likely only be offered with a DSG automatic, spelling the end of a self-rowing Golf GTI.

We’ll update this story if we get any more intel.

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, gamer, serial Lego-ist, lover of hot hatches