The facelifted Volkswagen Golf has been leaked once again.

    A video published by YouTube channel The Car Crash Review of the camouflaged Golf GTI prototype at this year’s CES technology convention in Las Vegas revealed undisguised images of the vehicle on the infotainment screen.

    It’s the second time the facelifted Mk8 Golf has been leaked, following another image published online after a preview event in September 2023.

    There’s a restyled front bumper and, while there’s still a full-width honeycomb mesh containing air intakes and fog lights, there are new trim pieces on either end that flick up into the grille.

    There are also distinctive telephone dial-esque alloy wheels and what appear to be restyled, slimmer headlights and an illuminated Volkswagen logo. Down back, there are restyled tail lights.

    Meanwhile, the camouflaged prototype revealed at CES wears a more aggressive bodykit similar to what’s fitted to the existing GTI Clubsport, which borrows much of its body add-ons and running gear from the Golf R.

    It features a more aggressive bumper than the vehicle in the leaked images.

    The GTI Clubsport never came to Australia, though its beefier 221kW 2.0 TSI engine can be had locally in the Cupra Leon VZx.

    Volkswagen has revealed the Mk8 Golf’s interior, which may be surprisingly similar on first glance to the existing pre-facelift model.

    Other than the larger central touchscreen – which should grow to 15 inches in higher grades – there’s little to differentiate the facelifted cabin from the existing model bar a revised sports steering wheel with physical multifunction controls instead of the infamous touch-capacitive switchgear in VW’s current range.

    It’s hard to tell from the limited view in these teasers, but the Digital Cockpit Pro virtual instrument cluster should get a software update too. The graphics shown on this prototype appear to be lightly revised, and we know already the new Passat and Tiguan feature the new-generation MIB4 interface – so expect the same here.

    The new Golf will receive the brand’s new ChatGPT-based voice assistant called IDA, which will start rolling out in a number of new Volkswagen models later this year including the new Golf, Tiguan, Passat, ID.3, ID.4, ID.5 and ID.7.

    The prototype’s interior, which appears to be a leather-clad Clubsport specification, also features a glossy carbon-fibre-effect insert similar to what we’ve seen in the Golf R 20 Years. It’s unclear whether this will become more widely available with updated versions of the GTI and R.

    Late last year Volkswagen briefly teased the new Golf in a video hosted by CEO Thomas Schäfer, one of the “many highlights and new products” to come from the German auto giant in 2024.

    While the latest, most efficient iterations of Volkswagen’s powertrain range are understood to be coming to the updated Golf line-up, headlined by new eHybrid PHEVs with around 100 kilometres of electric range, the engine line-up in Australia is expected to carryover when the updated Golf arrives, likely in 2025.

    The core range is currently powered by an older 1.4 TSI four-cylinder turbo petrol mated to an Aisin-sourced eight-speed automatic, while the GTI and R performance models get a 2.0 TSI with seven-speed DSGs which are closer to European spec.

    VW hasn’t committed to bringing the Golf eHybrid or GTE PHEVs Down Under as yet, though the latter has been under consideration for Australia for some time.

    The updated version of the plug-in hot hatch is expected to be boosted to 200kW (up from 180kW) from a new 1.5 TSI plug-in hybrid system and offer between 80-100km of electric range from its bigger lithium-ion battery (up from 50-60km).

    While still a solid seller in Europe – it lost its top ranking in the past couple of years – the Golf is a smaller player in Australia. However, its reclassification into the premium small passenger VFACTS category has seen it technically take segment leadership.

    For the 2023 calendar year the Golf returned 3592 registrations, ahead of the related Audi A3 (3319) and all-electric MG 4 (3134) in the Small Passenger over $40,000 segment. That’s up 11.4 per cent on the year prior, and VW Australia confirmed that 1039 units of those 3592 deliveries were high-spec GTI and R models.

    The Golf remains a key model within the company’s line-up globally, and has been confirmed to go all-electric in its next generation. However, Mr Schäfer has committed to the vehicle continuing to be called Golf, a nameplate that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

    Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest Volkswagen Golf news in the coming months, and share your thoughts in the comment section below.

    MORE: Everything Volkswagen Golf

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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