The Last ICE Volkswagen Golf Will Arrive Next Year

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The Mk. 8.5 facelift is scheduled for 2024, after which the nameplate will go electric.

The Mk. 8.5 (eighth-generation facelift) Volkswagen Golf will arrive in 2024, according to the automaker's CEO.

Speaking with the Auto Bild's Spanish publication, Volkswagen Passenger Cars CEO Thomas Schaefer said: "We will update the Golf now in 2024." This will likely be the last time the Golf name is applied to a car with an internal combustion engine, as Schaefer says the current Golf's successor "must be an electric vehicle."

Since Schaefer's confirmation at the 2022 LA Auto Show, we've known that the combustion-powered Golf is in its twilight, and this will affect everything from the regular Golf to the most potent R variant.

2022-2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI Headlights Volkswagen

So what can we expect from the facelifted Golf? We predict minor changes, but we hope one of them will see physical buttons return to the steering wheel rather than the annoying capacitive touch units on the current variant. However, this is yet to be confirmed. When we asked the CEO about the frustrating touch controls in the current Golf GTI and R, he told us that the immediate future would only hold a software update and that a new system would launch in 2025.

Then again, Schaefer's comments were made more than six months ago, and it's quite possible that Volkswagen will opt to bring physical controls back to the Golf before 2025.

2022-2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI Front Angle View CarBuzz

Whatever the future holds for the ergonomics of the eighth-gen Golf, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that is found in our market's GTI and R will likely receive minor tweaks for greater efficiency, along with a slight bump in power.

After that, these models' electric replacements will become much more powerful with electricity, but only to give future hot hatches similar performance to what their predecessors have today. Volkswagen R boss Reinhold Ivenz explained this motivation last year: "The next-generation electric platform has more horsepower [...], but we don't think in horsepower. We think in acceleration. If we want, for example, 0-62 mph in 4.0 seconds, we will discuss how much power we need to achieve this."

While we're on the subject of electrification, the first EV with an R badge is also expected to arrive next year, although that will likely be branded under the ID banner.

2022-2023 Volkswagen Golf R Side View Driving Volkswagen
Source Credits: Auto Bild

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2022-2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI Headlights
2022-2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI Front Angle View
2022-2023 Volkswagen Golf R Side View Driving

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