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Updated Volkswagen Golf GTI hot hatch inbound for next year

Volkswagen’s Golf Mk8.5 is set to come back fighting, armed with a slew of updates to take on rivals

  • More precise adaptive suspension system likely
  • Expected to launch alongside standard Golf update
  • Potential 50th-anniversary model in the works

The Volkswagen Golf and its Golf GTI hot hatch variant are now in their eighth generation, and due a mid-life facelift which we’ve spotted testing at the Nurburgring. While the Golf GTI paved the way for hot hatches back in the 70s, the most recent version has had mixed reviews, and Volkswagen will be seeking to improve some of its shortcomings with the Mk8.5.

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As you can see from the latest lightly-disguised spy images, the new Golf’s redesign is very subtle. The headlights are slightly reshaped, and it gets a tweaked tail-light signature. The Golf GTI pictured also sports subtly-restyled bumpers. The Golf GTI spotted at the Nurburgring also appears to be a base version of the GTI, as evidenced by smaller front brakes than higher-spec versions of the outgoing hot hatch.

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However, it’s expected that the most significant changes will happen underneath the Golf GTI’s exterior. One potential revision to the Golf GTI could be Volkswagen’s latest DCC Pro adaptive suspension system. It’s the brand’s latest chassis tech, and has been used in a few of its other models already, featuring more intricately adjustable damping that allows for more precision and control. The adaptive suspension can be adjusted via different driving modes and allows for an additional 16 adjustment settings.

While the existing Golf GTI is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with 242bhp (296bhp in the Clubsport), it’s yet to be seen whether the German marque will make any tweaks under the bonnet.

Fanatics of the manual transmission might be disappointed as we expect the six-speed manual gearbox to remain off-sale due to diminishing demand and harsher emissions regulations. The updated Golf GTI is expected to get a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and an electronic limited-slip differential.

The new Golf and Golf GTI are expected to launch at the same time in early 2024. Next year will also mark the 50th anniversary of the iconic hatchback, so we wouldn’t be surprised if a special edition model also crops up at some point. It could also be the last time we get a petrol-powered Golf GTI before the brand goes all-electric for the next generation of Golf.

There’s no word on pricing yet, but we’d expect a slight increase over the outgoing Golf GTI’s £38k starting figure. 

Looking for a Golf-sized electric car? Read our review of the Volkswagen ID.3

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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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