Photos of a range of upcoming Volkswagen Golf Mk8.5 models have been leaked online, revealing a sharper look for the German brand’s small car range.

    The images posted by Wilco Blok on Instagram show the upcoming Golf hatch and wagon range, including the sporty GTI and GTE, in what appears to be a studio suggesting Volkswagen is preparing to launch the range officially very soon.

    Set to be unveiled on January 24, 2024, CarExpert understands the updated range will launch in Australia in 2025.

    Starting with the GTI, there’s a revised front bumper and headlights, with a red accent running the entire width of the bonnet.

    There’s a new wheel design for the hot hatch, while the rear appears to have received updated tail lights.

    Two wagon variants are pictured, with two different front end designs, with one appearing to be an R Line.

    A new full-width light bar runs between the headlights on the updated Golfs. There’s an illuminated Volkswagen logo, as seen on the Touareg and ID.4.

    As before, the plug-in hybrid Golf GTE has a very similar design to the GTI, but is distinguished by blue accents and a different wheel design.

    At the rear, the GTE takes almost all the design updates from the GTI except for circular exhaust outlets. The black section of the bumper has a diamond pattern on either side of the diffuser.

    Volkswagen teased a camouflaged GTI at CES 2024, but revealed its interior undisguised. It features a larger infotainment touchscreen plus updated steering wheel and physical multifunction controls.

    It’s hard to tell from the limited view in the teasers from CES, 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 has been confirmed to 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, TiguanPassatID.3ID.4ID.5 and ID.7.

    The prototype’s interior, which appears to be in leather-clad Clubsport specification, also features a glossy carbon-fibre-effect insert similar to what we’ve seen in the Golf R 20 Years.

    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 carry over 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 there won’t be an electric version of the current generation of Golf as there was with its Mk7 predecessor, the next new generation of Golf is set to be electric-only.

    Mr Schäfer has previously said the next Golf “must be an electric vehicle” and will keep its name. It could launch around 2028.

    In 2023, Volkswagen sold 3592 examples of its Golf in Australia, which saw it outsold by the T-Roc (8943), Tiguan (7298), Amarok (6626), T-Cross (5762) and Tiguan Allspace (4543).

    The T-Roc also dethroned the Golf as the brand’s best seller in Europe in 2022.

    MORE: Everything Volkswagen Golf

    Jade Credentino

    Jade Credentino is an automotive journalist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade has had a chance to review a variety of vehicles and particularly enjoys SUVs. She enjoys traveling and going on road trips exploring Australia.

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