Last petrol-powered VW Golf, Mk8.5, unveiled in Germany

Although numerous automobiles attain icon status, only the Volkswagen Golf has done so for fifty years, during which it has maintained extraordinary popularity.

Volkswagen has now introduced the updated Mk8 model (which we shall refer to as the Mk8.5) fifty years after the initial model’s debut. This model receives a redesign, a significant technological upgrade, and a showy new parking feature.

However, anticipation is palpable, and a lump forms in the esophagus as this Golf unveils its final iteration featuring an internal combustion engine.

The following are eight essential details regarding the most recent Volkswagen Golf and Golf GTI.

It is the final new Golf to feature an internal combustion engine before transitioning to electric power.

Volkswagen is attempting to reestablish a presence with its gasoline-powered Golf, as the Mk8.5 revision is expected to be the last to feature internal combustion engines.

It signifies the commencement of the demise of one of the most beloved automobiles that drivers in Britain have grown accustomed to and adored for the past fifty years.

Volkswagen debuted the Golf in 1974. The nameplate has remained a pillar of our roadways ever since.

Its GTI hot hatches have a cult following and were Europe’s best-selling vehicle from 2008 to 2021. It is also the most-produced Volkswagen of all time. It remains one of the most sought-after family hatchbacks in dealerships throughout Europe and the United Kingdom.

However, VW’s transition to electric vehicles means that this revised ‘Mk8.5’ model will be its last to feature a combustion engine.

Volkswagen’s Electric Future Plans

Bosses verified last year that the 2026 T-Roc crossover of the next generation will be the final new combustion engine model to debut before the brand makes an all-electric transition. This ultimately results in electric propulsion for the Mk9 Golf.

“The Mk8 facelift concludes production of the vehicle for the remainder of the decade.” Then we must observe the development of this segment, Volkswagen automobile CEO Thomas Schaefer told the German publication Automobilwoche in April.

“We might be able to create an entirely new vehicle by 2026 or 2027 if the world develops in an entirely different way than anticipated, but I don’t believe that will occur.” As of now, that has yet to be anticipated.

Volkswagen (VW) plans to introduce ten additional electric models by 2026, one of which is the ‘affordable’ ID.2 crossover, which is anticipated to be available for around £22,000 (or less than €25,000) in three years.

A planned electric Golf vehicle is unlikely to be released before 2028, but the automaker plans to keep the name.

As of 2024, the Mk8.5 will remain offered in conventional hatchback and estate configurations.

One engine option can travel 62 miles in electric mode alone

Volkswagen is farewelling its final combustion-engined Golf with a flourish, providing a diverse range of powerplants before discontinuing them permanently. In total, nine powertrain variants will be offered.

The most widely used petrol engines will be 1.5 liters. These are offered with and without mild-hybrid technology, with outputs of 148bhp and 114bhp, respectively. A 2.0-liter petrol engine with 201 horsepower will be introduced later, up 13 horsepower from the previous model.

Additionally, 2.0-liter TDI models with 114 or 148 horsepower will remain available.

Additionally, Volkswagen has enhanced its plug-in hybrid drivetrain, offering two variants beginning in 2024. Both utilize a 1.5-liter gasoline engine (which replaces the outgoing 1.4-liter engine), with the TSI hybrid receiving a 201bhp electric motor and the GTE receiving a 268bhp e-motor – a 20bhp increase compared to the current models.

The updated PHEVs feature a 19.7kWh battery capacity (from 10.6kWh) and DC fast-charging capabilities of up to 50kW.

Volkswagen claims the vehicle can travel 62 miles on electric power alone, and when the two power sources are combined, it can travel 620 miles before requiring refueling or recharging.

The GTI endures; the Golf R will follow

The Golf GTI is a legend if the Golf is an icon. Moreover, devotees will be relieved to learn that it will remain available for the foreseeable future.

It will maintain its 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine but increase its output by nearly 20 horsepower, from 242 to 261. The significant development is that it will only be available with a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. Volkswagen’s controversial decision to eliminate the manual gearbox will irritate traditionalists.

The reintroduction of teledial alloy wheel designs as an optional extra for 2024, marking the first time since the Mk6 model was sold from 2008 to 2012, and the continued use of red flashes across the headlight clusters (blue for the GTE) to distinguish it from the standard Golf, will, however, satisfy GTI enthusiasts.

In addition to a honeycomb grille and “air guides” in the front spoiler, the GTI is the first vehicle to offer customers the opportunity to purchase authentic VW carbon fiber interior trims. Tartan fabric seats are standard on the 2024 facelift, but leather sports seats are available.

While not yet verified, an all-wheel-drive Golf R will follow, though likely not until 2025. The final gasoline-powered Golf R may be the most powerful due to GTI power upgrades.

The initial front illuminated emblem

The illuminated VW logo affixed to the facelifted Golf’s hood is the most-discussed visual feature.

Previously, it was illegal for manufacturers to include any illuminated element of a vehicle’s exterior, excluding the lights. Still, a recent change in European advertising regulations permits the use of such aspects on new models.

Regarding the headlamps, Volkswagen’s newest IQ Light HD matrix technology will be available for an additional charge. These are said to discharge a beam distance of up to 500 meters.

Has VW rectified the appalling infotainment system?
With any luck, absolutely!

The infotainment system of the Golf Mk8 has been the subject of considerable criticism. This is particularly about the temperature and volume controls, formerly performed via an illuminated haptic touch slider.

Beginning in 2024, these enablesivers to locate and operate them more easily during nighttime. Furthermore, the touch-sensitive buttons that were previously difficult and frustrating to use have been substituted with tangible switches on the steering wheel.

Volkswagen claims that for 2024, “the remainder of the hardware and software of the Golf’s infotainment system are entirely new.”

One variant has ChatGPT, which lets drivers ask the Golf anything and get a spoken response.

It is equipped with a landscape-oriented touchscreen positioned in the center. The size varies from 10.4 inches for entry-level variants to 12.9 inches for higher-end vehicles. These are equipped with the most recent ‘MIB4’ operating system, which features a redesigned menu structure that divides the screen in half to ensure that frequently used functions remain visible for the convenience of the driver or passenger.

An optional widescreen head-up display complements the 10.2-inch Digital Cockpit Pro instrument cluster screen.

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