Improved VW Golf: More Style, Power & Buttons

America’s Wait Continues: No Arrival in Sight

As a means of staying relevant in a market saturated with crossovers, Volkswagen has decided to revamp its renowned compact vehicle. In order to spice things up for the Mk8.5 Golf, changes have been made to its exterior appearance, infotainment system, and mechanical components. Despite the standard hatchback and wagon models remaining exclusive to Europe, the US will still have access to the GTI and Golf R versions.

Volkswagen is unveiling the refreshed Golf in multiple variations. The hatchback is available as an eHybrid and GTE plug-in hybrid, along with the anticipated GTI model for the American market. Additionally, the more functional Variant estate is showcased in its R-Line trim. Notably absent from the collection are the all-wheel-drive R and the high-performing GTD diesel options.

The most noticeable updates to the exterior design are seen in the revamped LED lights, with the higher-end Golf models boasting fully LED headlights that showcase an illuminated VW logo. For a supplementary fee, buyers can upgrade to a more advanced matrix LED system, boasting a high beam that is nearly twice as strong as the standard one. On the rear end, the more deluxe taillights exhibit a 3D-like appearance, complete with three selectable patterns – a feature reminiscent of Audi’s offerings on select vehicles.

As part of the updated Golf model, Volkswagen has introduced four fresh metallic color options: Crystal Ice Blue, Anemone Blue, Oyster Silver, and Grenadilla Black. Additionally, there are now five different alloy wheel designs to choose from, ranging in size from 16 to 19 inches. The various trim levels, including Golf, Life, Style, R-Line, GTE, and GTI, have each received subtle changes to their bumpers. Moreover, all Style grade models and above come with a sleek black roof.

Following the lead of the original Golf model, the more utilitarian of the two body options will not be available in eHybrid, GTE, or GTI variants. However, it is hoped that the Golf R Variant, the high-performance wagon, will still be offered.

Volkswagen has previously unveiled the refreshed interior at CES earlier this month. The popular hatchback will be returning to its traditional buttons on the steering wheel, a design choice also expected for the Golf R. It should be noted that while the more affordable Golf Mk8 models in Europe retained conventional controls, the higher-end versions were equipped with bothersome touch-sensitive keys.

One of the most significant updates in this model is the upgraded infotainment system, equipped with a spacious tablet-style display measuring 10.4 inches in the base Golfs and 12.9 inches in the higher-end models. Thankfully, the frustrating air conditioning sliders remain, but now they are illuminated for ease of use. Additionally, an optional head-up display will be offered as well.

The introductory model of the Golf will come with a 1.5 TSI petrol motor, producing either 113 or 148 horsepower. The power generated by this engine will be transmitted to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. An alternative version of this engine, named the 1.5 eTSI, will also be available in mild-hybrid form. Similarly, its power output will remain unchanged, but it will only be offered with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

If you’re in need of an extra boost, you’ll find a more powerful 2.0 TSI engine with 201 horsepower and a seven-speed DSG transmission available. Surprisingly, the previous base model Golf that used to offer a smaller three-cylinder 1.0 TSI engine is not mentioned.

In terms of diesel options, the well-proven 2.0 TDI engine will offer either a six-speed manual transmission with 113 horsepower or a seven-speed DSG with 148 horsepower. It’s worth noting that these variations of the diesel engine are only available in front-wheel drive.

For individuals who are not inclined towards a diesel option, the eHybrid is still available with 201 horsepower, a six-speed DSG, and front-wheel drive. This variation of the vehicle utilizes a larger lithium-ion battery pack, increasing from 10.6 kilowatt-hours to 19.7 kilowatt-hours. With this improved battery, drivers can reach an impressive electric range of up to 62 miles (100 kilometers), surpassing the previous maximum range of 50 miles (80 kilometers) in the Golf eHybrid.

The newest version of the plug-in hybrid variant has upgraded to support faster AC charging at 11 kilowatts, a significant improvement from its previous limit of 3.6 kilowatts. Additionally, this model is now capable of utilizing DC charging up to 50 kilowatts, allowing for a recharge time of only 25 minutes to bring the battery level from 10% to 80%. When the battery is fully charged and the gas tank is at capacity, Volkswagen projects that drivers will be able to travel an impressive distance of 621 miles (1,000 kilometers) before needing to stop for fuel.

In terms of the more thrilling variations, the Golf GTE boasts a total power output of 268 horsepower that is channeled to the front wheels through a six-speed DSG transmission. Similar to the standard eHybrid model, it swaps out the previous 1.4 TSI engine for a 1.5 TSI unit equipped with a variable turbocharger system. In comparison to its forerunner, this electrified hatchback packs an additional 27 horsepower.

The most exciting update to mention is the new GTI, sporting sleek Alfa Romeo-inspired wheels. However, it’s unfortunate that this hot hatch has bid farewell to its manual transmission in favor of a seven-speed DSG. Nevertheless, this DSG system now delivers an impressive 261 horsepower to the front wheels, a slight increase of 20hp from the previous model.

Volkswagen also previously offered a stronger Clubsport model in Europe prior to the recent facelift, boasting 296 horsepower. However, this version is currently not available. The vehicle showcased by VW at CES could potentially be the Clubsport, hinting at its eventual release in the United States.

The release of the Golf R is expected to occur later this year, while there are doubts about the GTD’s comeback due to diesel’s loss of popularity following the Volkswagen Group’s turbulent controversy.

As we approach the end of the era of internal combustion, it appears that the latest update for the VW Golf could mark a significant milestone. This iconic car has been on the market for fifty years and has seen an impressive production of 37 million units. The ninth generation, which is Europe’s top-selling car, has officially been announced as an electric model, utilizing the VW Group’s Scalable Systems Platform. Production is set to begin in Wolfsburg, Germany later this decade, with other cars based on the SSP being assembled alongside it.

It is yet to be determined if the two will coexist harmoniously prior to VW’s transition to an all-electric lineup. What is definite, however, is that the German company has committed to manufacturing solely electric vehicles in Europe by 2033, ultimately spelling the end of the traditional Golf with an internal combustion engine.

Source: Volkswagen

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