The next-generation Volkswagen Golf will be an electric vehicle based on Volkswagen Group's upcoming SSP modular platform. It means current favorites like the Golf GTI and Golf R will also likely be EVs in their next iteration, so fans better start preparing to bid farewell to the idea of a gas engine in the cars.

They have some time, as the SSP platform will only be ready around 2028, meaning there's still plenty of shelf life left for the current gas-powered Golf range. VW is preparing a round of updates for the Golf range that we'll likely see introduced for the 2025 model year in the U.S., and prototypes are out and about.

Prototypes for the updated regular Golf and updated Golf GTI have already been spotted, and today we have our first look at a prototype for the updated Golf R. A lack of camouflage gear points to the debut happening soon, possibly even later this year.

The exterior changes are limited to revised fascia designs at both ends, new internals for the lights, a blue accent line connecting the headlights, and a revised rear diffuser design. There are still four round exhaust tips, which is a signature feature of the Golf R, but the design of the tips is new.

We know from prototypes for other Golf variants that an updated dash sporting a much larger infotainment screen is planned. 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 modifications will be made with this update, though extra power is a possibility. The all-wheel-drive Golf R is curently offered with a 2.0-liter turbo-4 delivering 315 hp. Buyers can still choose between a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic, though the manual may be phased out for this update. VW has already confirmed that a manual won't be offered on the updated Golf GTI. The automaker launched the 2024 Golf GTI 380 special edition in August to mark the end of the run.

The current Golf is a close relative of the current Audi A3, with the Golf R being most closerly alligned with the Audi S3 variant. Like the Golf, the A3 will be updated for the 2025 model year.