The days of a Golf GTI with a gas engine under the hood are coming to an end, and the final version before the hot hatch goes the electric route has been spotted testing.
Volkswagen in September made the announcement that the next Golf, the nameplate's ninth generation, will be an electric vehicle based on a next-generation EV platform known as the SSP. That platform will only be ready around 2028, so there's still plenty of shelf life left for the current gas-powered Golf.
To keep it fresh until its electric successor arrives, the current eighth-generation Golf will be given an update. Prototypes for the updated Golf have already been spotted and today we have the first shots of a prototype for the updated GTI. It was wearing zero camouflage gear and testing alongside the current model, giving a clear view of the exterior styling tweaks that are planned. There's also a glimpse of the interior, revealing some of the changes taking place inside as well.
The exterior changes are limited to revised fascia designs at both ends. The wide-mouth look of the current GTI remains, but with a flatter design for the top of the mouth and a revised mesh pattern. At the rear, there's a revised diffuser design and a new design for the exhaust tips.
2025 Volkswagen Golf GTI facelift spy shots - Photo credit: Baldauf
Inside, there's an updated dash sporting a much larger infotainment screen. The Golf range at present features an 8.3-inch infotainment screen, but the screen in the updated model may stretch as much as 15 inches, matching the screen in the redesigned global Tiguan that debuted in September.
It isn't clear whether any major mechanical mods will be made with this update, though extra power is a possibility. The front-wheel-drive GTI is currently offered with a 2.0-liter turbo-4 good for 241 hp. The engine can be ordered with either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic at present, though VW confirmed in August that the manual transmission will be dropped for the updated model. To mark the end of the manual's run, VW launched a special GTI 380 model for the 2024 model year.
Given the lack of camouflage gear on the prototype, the debut can't be far. Look for the updated Golf range, including the GTI, to arrive in the U.S. next year as 2025 models. An updated Golf R should also be coming.