VW Golf GTI and R tipped to go hybrid as part of wide-reaching overhaul for Golf range.
Volkswagen will mark the 50th anniversary of the Golf next year with the introduction of a facelifted eighth-generation model, and company CEO Thomas Schäfer has hinted that it could be the last combustion-engined version of the world’s best-selling hatch.
Featuring updated styling, revised hybrid powertrains and a reworked cabin with larger displays and upgraded digital functions, it is set to be launched in the second half of next year.
The scheduling forms part of a strategy that will see the model cycle of the existing Golf extended beyond the traditional seven years of its predecessors, in line with VW’s planned transition to an all-electric European line-up by 2033.
As previously reported by Automotive Daily Network partner Autocar, VW intends to offer the new Golf exclusively with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox in certain models, as part of efforts to further reduce its fleet-average CO2 emissions.
As with the upcoming third-generation Tiguan and the ninth-generation Passat, the 2024-model-year Golf adopts VW’s new MQB Evo platform.
It features a revised structure with stiffened mountings for the rear axle, among other changes that are claimed to boost its overall rigidity.
Volkswagen has focused much of its attention on the Golf’s plug-in hybrid powertrains. Both the eHybrid and GTE adopt the EA211 Evo turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine in place of the older EA211 1.4-litre four-cylinder unit of today’s models.
In combination with a new-generation electric motor and an updated electronics package, this results in an 11bhp increase in power for the eHybrid, now with a claimed 156kW, and an 11kW increase for the GTE, to 188kW, according to Autocar’s sources. A larger-capacity battery is also said to provide both models with a WLTP electric range of more than 100km.
New advanced tech
Insiders at VW’s Braunschweig R&D centre confirm efforts to accelerate the start-up process of the Golf’s infotainment system. The replacement of the original Qualcomm chipset with a more advanced Samsung unit in late 2021 is described as “just the first step” in a dramatic technology overhaul.
Among new driver assistance systems planned for the facelifted Golf is an updated Park Assistant with automated functionality. It allows the revamped hatch to be manoeuvred into parking spaces remotely via a smartphone, not only in a straight line but also with a degree of steering input. An additional Trained Park Assist function allows you to download parking manoeuvres up to 50 metres in length, enabling the Golf to autonomously park itself.
Drastically redesigned interior
Volkswagen has reacted to criticism of the eighth-generation Golf with updated digital controls and higher-quality materials for the 2024 model.
Included is a new 10.4in instrument display and a 12.9in central infotainment screen, and the climate control ‘slider’ now lights up for use at night. The digital menu for the infotainment system is also simplified, with larger icons introduced in an attempt to make it much easier to use.
Further changes centre on the steering wheel, which receives traditional buttons in place of the capacitive controls of today’s Golf. There is also a new centre console and reworked door trims – the latter with what Volkswagen calls ‘Atrilur’, a recycled material similar to Alcantara, in upper-end Golf models.
Revamped engine line-up
VW is planning a shift towards mild-hybrid electrification as part of a move to make the Golf compliant with strict new emissions rules. The existing EA211 1.0-litre three-cylinder and EA211 Evo 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol units are expected to retain similar outputs, with the former delivering 79kW and the latter either 94kW or 109kW. Changes to mid-hybrid eTSI models are set to offer added electric power for improved acceleration and economy.
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrols and diesels also get mild-hybrid assistance in new eTSI and eTDI models. The same applies to the highly tuned EA888 petrol four-pot used by the GTI and R, along with the EA288 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel in the GTD, according to Autocar sources.