Here’s your first peek at the facelifted Volkswagen Golf 8.5 R, more power rumoured

Published Jan 29, 2024


Last week Volkswagen ripped the covers off the facelifted Golf 8.5 range, including the GTI, and now the German carmaker is giving us our first peek at the new 2024 Golf R.

Volkswagen has confirmed that the new range-topping performance hatch will be fully revealed to the world around mid-2024.

Those attending the “Ice Race in Zell am See” in Austria this past weekend got to see a lightly camouflaged prototype of the new Volkswagen Golf R. In attendance was multiple World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson, who had this to say:

“It was great fun to sit in the brand-new Golf for the first time. I can only say that even though the Golf R has not yet been revealed, there is a true sports car under the camouflage that fans of the R brand can already look forward to.”

Six-time World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson.

The rest of the details remain under wraps for now, but Autocar says it’s likely that the Golf R’s EA-888 2.0-litre turbopetrol engine will be boosted by around 10kW to match the 245kW output of the special edition Golf R 333 of 2022. Or perhaps they’ll even take it beyond that..

The 2024 Golf GTI was given a 15kW boost (read more about it here) and it thus makes sense that Volkswagen will also want its flagship performance hatch to go out with a bang, considering this is believed to be the last internal combustion engined Golf series.

Like the rest of the 2024 Volkswagen Golf 8.5 family, the updated R model will receive styling updates on the outside, including a fresh bumper, Matrix LED headlights and an illuminated grille strip and VW badge.

Cabin updates in the new Golf include a more user-friendly infotainment system with new software, enhanced graphics and a redesigned menu structure, while on-board ChatGPT becomes available for the first time.

It also receives separate controls for the climate system, and the multi-function steering wheel now has conventional controls instead those finicky touch sliders.

Of course, all the official details will only be released around mid-2024. But we do hope that Volkswagen will do justice to its last combustion-engined Golf R performance hatchback with some serious performance and dynamic upgrades.

Because, quite frankly, the current Golf R is just a little too vanilla for our liking.