With the Mk8 Golf launch approaching, Volkswagen has been spied testing the 2020 Golf GTI – and it appears the engineers in Wolfsburg are worried about the threat posed by the Hyundai i30N.
Although it's buried beneath camouflage, it appears the lower front bumper will get aggressive add-ons like those fitted to the GTI Clubsport, working with a deep 'splitter' to add a bit of visual drama.
Down back, there are chunky twin exhaust pipes and a more stylised take on the diffuser featuring on the current GTI. Volkswagen has gone hard on the camouflage with the first GTI prototype, but we'd wager the bumper will be chunkier than stock, and the rear spoiler will be more prominent.
This prototype is also wearing the lighter ‘Pretoria’ alloy wheels that have been available locally on several limited-edition versions of the current Golf R, though they’re available more widely across the range overseas.
Behind the wheel, the new Golf promises to be a more high-tech package than the current car, with a dual-screen infotainment setup and a more upmarket cabin design.
Climate control appears to be handled by capacitive buttons below the touchscreen, while the air vents are set low, in what's a radical departure from the previous three generations of Golf.
Although it's likely to be a pretty strong selling point for Volkswagen, the Golf's high-tech cabin has also been a pain point during development.
Above: A non-GTI Golf's interior, spied earlier this year.
Because it's wirelessly connected, the system opens the door to a new world of security threats. Where previously the only way into a car's software system was by accessing its CAN bus, allowing external wireless connections opens the door for all manner of new access points.
Production for the new Golf will kick off "by the end of the third quarter" in Wolfsburg, according to reports out of Europe.
Volkswagen Australia says the new Golf is on track to be launched in Australia during the third quarter of 2020.
Further details will be announced closer to launch, though the local arm is confident the GTI hot hatch variant will arrive alongside the core range, with the flagship R to follow shortly afterwards.
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