Volkswagen Golf 8.5 GTI revealed with more power, new cabin tech

Published Jan 24, 2024


The Volkswagen Golf “8.5” has been officially revealed to the world, complete with fresh exterior styling, new cabin tech and a more powerful GTI model.

We’re awaiting final confirmation on the South African line-up, but it’s likely that our market will once again receive only the Golf GTI as well as the Golf R, although the latter has yet to be revealed in facelifted form.

Overseas Volkswagen continues to offer a full range of Golf models, including TSI and TDI turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, eTSI mild hybrids and two plug-in hybrids, including the high-performance GTE, which can now cover up to 100km on electric power alone.

But it’s the GTI that we’re really interested in, and for 2024 the performance hatchback is receiving a power boost. The EA 888 2.0-litre turbopetrol now reportedly produces 195kW, which is a 15kW increase over today’s model. No performance figures have been provided by Volkswagen as yet.

New look for the exterior

All Golf models receive a fresh exterior look, complete with new LED headlights and taillights as well as a redesigned front bumper, while the ‘performance’ headlight option also illuminates the grille strip and VW badge. Furthermore, clients can opt for LED Matrix headlights which pair with new 3D taillight clusters.

You’ll tell the ‘regular’ Golf models apart by the horizontal blades in the lower bumper, while the GTI and GTE receive a distinctive bumper design complete with honeycomb trim as well as a unique rear diffuser with twin tailpipes and new ‘telephone dial’ alloy wheels.

New software, cabin tech

Volkswagen claims to have significantly improved the user-friendliness of the completely redesigned infotainment system, which features all-new software and graphics as well as a fresh menu structure.

The visually freestanding infotainment system will be available in two sizes, depending on the model: 10.4 inch (26.4cm) or 12.9-inch (32.8cm). The latter system is standard on the GTI.

Volkswagen has also redesigned the touch sliders for the climate and volume control to make them easier to use and they’re now illuminated too. The bottom part of the screen is now dedicated to the climate system for easier access.

The original Golf 8 was criticised for its lack of physical climate controls so it remains to be seen whether these design changes will make life easier for occupants.

Speaking of convenience, the new Park Assist Pro system allows drivers to remotely park their vehicle from outside using an app on their phone. There’s also a new 360-degree Area View system that merges four external cameras.

The GTI’s cabin is distinguished by a multi-function sports steering wheel, red stitching throughout and premium sports seats. What’s more, genuine carbon fibre interior trim details can be optionally added for the first time.

That’s as much as we can tell you about the new Volkswagen Golf 8.5 GTI for now, but stay tuned for more local information as it becomes available.

IOL Motoring