Volkswagen is getting ready to unveil a mid-life update for its Mk8 Golf, and spy photographs have revealed some of the changes.

    The updated Golf is expected to be revealed in 2024.

    There appears to still be some light disguise on this GTE prototype obscuring some details like the tail lights. We can see, however, there are slimmer headlights.

    The quirky LED daytime running lights have either been removed or aren’t switched on, but the GTE’s honeycomb-style lower air intake is still present.

    However, the insert is reshaped in the middle to accommodate a larger sensor unit. Brightwork elements wrap around the sides and flick upwards towards the licence plate.

    For reference, the plug-in hybrid GTE closely resembles the petrol-powered GTI sold here, but is easily identifiable by a blue strip running between the headlights.

    Look through the windows, and you can make out a larger, free-standing infotainment touchscreen. We don’t yet know what size screens the Golf will offer, but the new Tiguan and ID.7 will offer 15-inch screens.

    The Volkswagen brand, under recently appointed CEO Thomas Schäfer, has been working to roll back controversial changes like touch-capacitive steering wheel switchgear and climate control sliders that aren’t illuminated.

    Expect, therefore, for a return to steering wheels across the Golf range with actual buttons, and for said climate control sliders to be backlit.

    It’s unclear if Volkswagen will also sub the console-mounted transmission shifter of the current Golf for a column-mounted one, as in the new Tiguan.

    Expected updates, at least for the European market, include the new, more efficient 1.5 TSI evo2 petrol engine that combines the PPF and three-way catalytic converter into one module and reduces the use of precious metals, as well as an enhanced Active Cylinder Management system which shuts off two cylinders under low engine load.

    This new power unit will also form the basis of a new-generation plug-in hybrid (PHEV) system that’s due to proliferate amongst MQB Evo-based models in the near future.

    Using the 1.5 TSI evo2 as a base, the PHEV system should offer up to 200kW in its most powerful form – indicating a 20kW power bump for the GTE.

    VW has also flagged a bump in zero-emissions driving range in its next-gen PHEV system courtesy of efficiency developments and a larger battery, with up to 100 kilometres quoted in various Group material speaking of future product. So, expect 80-100km of EV range from the updated Golf eHybrid and GTE.

    The GTE is set to finally come here, with Volkswagen Australia confirming last December a plug-in hybrid Golf was earmarked for our market… but not for another 18 months.

    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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