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New 2024 VW Golf GTi Mk8.5 Revealed

Sorry (not sorry) to drag this one out but as you might have worked out by now, we kinda have a thing for Volkswagen Golf’s.

Especially GTi’s. 

Plus 2024 marks the Golf’s 50th birthday

And whilst we might have already dedicated a blog to the swansong none of us wanted to imagine/pen an obituary-of-sorts to, there has been a revision of late which we’re contractually obliged to flag up. And possible pass comment on.

Ah, yes. Model revisions.

The ubiquitous Golf has undergone a number of these in recent years. With the .5 tag now being a recognised part of the Golf lineage, when auto historians look back through the annals of time a few centuries down the road.

Or intergalactic superhighway.

But For The Time Being

But for the time being where we’re going, still requires roads to transport us there.

And although Veedub has called time on the Golf (and GTi) as we know it, the company still has to run out its models until such time as its EV-licious replacement is up and running. 

Which kinda explains the new VW Golf GTi Mk8.5 browsed here.

Didn’t Car Manufacturers Just Used To Replace One Model With Another?

Back in the day car manufacturers would simply replace one model with another, rather than shuffle the existing pack.

Mid-cycle facelifts were yet to be invented by marketing think tanks.

Instead one model reached the end of its natural life and was usurped by its replacement. Which tended to look fairly different to the naked eye. 

But then timely mid-term refreshes became de rigeur amongst the automotive manufacturing fraternity. Where spotting any vague visual differences between the current model and the new, improved version 2.0 has become increasingly more challenging.

Bit like those images where the actual visual aspect you perceive is different for everyone.

Some people might see a human face.

Others might see a tree.

Others might instantly visualise a house.

It all depends on your individual perceptions, according to psychologists.


What Are The Key Differences Between The Golf GTi 8 And The New VW Golf GTi Mk8.5?

Mercifully the differences aren’t so subtle even Volkswagen designers have forgotten/lost sight of what they’ve done with the new VW Golf GTi Mk8.5

Headlights and grilles tend to be the first differentials clocked by even the most casual of observers when running the rule over a mildly facelifted model. Straining the retinas still further and you might be lucky enough to fleeting spot some sort of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bumper tweak.

So, what makes the new VW Golf GTi Mk8.5 stand out in an ID parade of Mk8’s?

Well, aside from a digit, the predominant revamp is discovered within the inner sanctum. In the area of dashboard-located controls.

With actual, physical switchgear making a welcome return to the steering column after all the furore and consternation over the much-maligned haptic alternatives which irked anyone with a Mk8 GTi

Seriously. People power has its day. 

Thanks to a chorus of disapproval ruminating from owners and motoring critics alike, Veedub listened and then acted.

‘Bin off this Apple-wannabe nonsense!’ they cried.

‘Put some proper buttons back in the GTi!’ they hollered.

So they did just that. All of the above.

There’s also a huge infotainment-encompassing screen centre stage inside the new VW Golf GTi 8.5.

Tech pedants take note.

VW has listening to your complaints and added illuminated sliders so that owner/drivers are able to change the volume (or temperature) whence darkness falls.

Or they circumnavigate a particularly long road tunnel.

So, that'll keep you happy.

However we then arrive at the elephant in the room.

There’s something missing in the driver’s footwell in the new VW Golf GTi Mk8.5.

Something glaringly obvious.

Something pedal-shaped.

Ahh yes. That’s it.

A clutch pedal.

You see the mid-life fettled Golf GTi might have 261bhp on tap, functional switchgear and a fresh-faced appeal. Yet in its infinite wisdom Volkswagen has done away with what made it a driver’s car from the very outset.

A manual gear selector.

Tools to engage with the driving experience and instruct the driver's mind; simultaneously.



No more.

Just like that, Veedub has culled the manual transmission in the new VW Golf GTi Mk8.5.

Meaning that search as you might you’ll never put your finger(s) on a 6-speed manual, having instead to suffice with the 7-speed DSG box


What’s Changed On The Outside Of the New VW Golf GTi Mk8.5?

Very good question.

And the answers are in the plural. 

A new-ish front bumper replete with two new body-coloured aero elements break up the lower grille.

For which we applaud. 

But an illuminating VW badge?


Are we seriously doing this, Wolfsburg?....

Less polarising of opinion are the inclusion of new light clusters both front and rear. Whilst the new 19” teledial-style rims certainly provide the GTi with a bit of additional kerb appeal. 

If the new GTi doesn’t get your juices flowing - or if you’re mildly disappointed to learn that there’s no pronounced rear diffuser and/or Akrapovic exhaust system - then worry no more.

As we’re told that fruitier choices arrive in GTi Clubsport and R (hatchback and estate versions) in the foreseeable future.

So as to hold back the imminent EV flood of next generation VW hot hatches for a while longer….

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