New Volkswagen Golf R spotted: everything we know so far

November 14, 2023 by

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The ever-popular Volkswagen Golf is getting some updates in 2024, and the facelifted version of this family hatchback has been spotted out and about during testing in sporty GTI guise. Read on for all you need to know.

  • New Volkswagen Golf R spotted
  • Standard Golf and GTI also spied
  • Minor styling updates over the current car
  • New infotainment system
  • Engines may also be tweaked
  • On sale in 2024

The Volkswagen Golf is getting some updates for 2024 to keep it looking fresh against alternatives like the Mercedes A Class and Audi A3. The revised hatchback has been spotted during development testing, in both normal and sporty GTI forms.

The flagship Golf R has also now been caught by carwow’s spy photographers, and it could be in line for a power boost when it comes along in 2024.

New Volkswagen Golf R spotted testing

The standard Volkswagen Golf has been spotted a few times now out and about, however now the flagship Golf R has been snapped by carwow’s spy photographers undergoing development testing on the Nurburgring.

The styling changes over the current Golf R are pretty minimal, but look closely and you’ll see a few tweaks to keep it looking fresh. The headlights have been slimmed down a touch, and the trim strip across the bonnet is slightly thinner as well.

There aren’t many changes to report down the side, with this new car getting the same wheels and sporty side skirts as the current R. What’s more noticeable is the new wing, which is much larger than the current car’s and looks similar to the one found on the limited edition Golf R333.

Looking to the rear you’ll find some tweaked tail lights, however the lower bumper looks pretty much the same. This prototype test car is fitted with the optional Akrapovic exhaust system, suggesting that this option will still be available after the facelift.

The Golf R Estate is also getting a facelift

There’s no word on any upgrades under the skin just yet, however it’ll almost certainly be retaining the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the current car. As it stands, the R gets 320hp and 420Nm of torque, sent to all four wheels and launching the car from 0-60mph in 6.3 seconds. This new car could get a touch more power, maybe getting closer to 330hp.

New Volkswagen Golf design

The standard Golf has also been spotted out and about during late development testing, and it gets similarly subtle styling upgrades.

The obvious change up front is the new headlights. They’re completely uncamouflaged, and if you look closely you’ll notice that they’re slimmer than the current car’s. The side-by-side image below shows this best, with today’s Golf on the left and the new one on the right.

This small change helps make the Golf look a bit more sleek, although it does still have a bit of a monobrow thing going on. The lower grille also looks as though it’s been tweaked, although it’s covered over for now.

The rest of the car looks pretty much unchanged. The rear lights may be slightly slimmed down to match the headlights, and you can expect to see some new alloy wheel options.

New Volkswagen Golf GTI also spotted

Along with the standard Golf, the sporty GTI has also been snapped during testing on a track. This prototype appears to have the current car’s headlights, but this is likely just for testing purposes.

The new Golf GTI (top) vs the current Golf GTI (bottom)

The lower bumper has changed though, as the air intake now takes up the entire lower portion of the front end. Expect to see the trademark GTI red stripe across the bonnet. Don’t read too much into the alloy wheels fitted to this car either, they’re from the Golf R.

You still have the twin tailpipes from the current GTI, in fact the entire rear bumper looks exactly the same. Expect to see a tweaked lower diffuser on the finished car.

New Volkswagen Golf interior and infotainment

We’ve also been able to get our hands on a picture of the new Golf’s interior. It’s packed full of testing equipment, however you can see a couple of major changes over the current car.

The most obvious is the huge new screen atop the dashboard. It’s not as sleekly integrated into the fascia as the current car’s, however it does look a lot bigger. It looks very similar to the system you get in the new Volkswagen Tiguan, and it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to assume that the new Golf will share its infotainment system with that car.

See how today’s Volkswagen Golf stacks up against alternatives…

If that is the case, you’ll be able to choose between a 12.9-inch screen or a whopping 15.0-inch screen, a big improvement over the 10.25-inch unit you get in the current Golf. This prototype also has physical buttons on the steering wheel, so hopefully this new Golf will follow in the Tiguan’s footsteps and scrap those annoying touch-sensitive controls.

New Volkswagen Golf engines

You can expect a similar range of engines in the new VW Golf as you get in the current car. This means a selection of 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre petrol engines, as well as a 2.0-litre diesel.

The car pictured here is the Golf plug-in hybrid, something which is given away by the charging port on the front wing. The new version of this car may improve on the 40 miles of electric range you get in the current car, however this is not confirmed.

When will the new Volkswagen Golf go on sale?

You can expect the new Volkswagen Golf to go on sale in mid 2024, with prices taking a slight hike over the current car. A starting price of around £28,000 is likely.

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