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VW Golf 2020 revealed: New GTI hot hatch only a year away

Though the new VW Golf looks similar to the existing version on the outside, big changes were made to the interior and tech.

Volkswagen has uncovered its crucial eighth-generation Golf small car ahead of an Australian launch in late 2020, which is planned to coincide with the release of the next yet-to-be-revealed GTI hot hatch.

Showing a more evolutionary refresh than a revolutionary one, the new-gen Golf is easily identifiable, but mixes things up with slim headlights and a smaller front grille.

The front bumper is also reworked, the shoulder crease is now more distinct, tail-lights are modernised and the lower bumper sports fake exhaust outlets.

Measuring 4284mm long, 1789mm wide, 1456mm tall and with a 2636mm wheelbase, the new Golf is bigger than its predecessor in all measures barring width.

However, the most noticeable changes to the new Golf are to the interior, which now rocks a head-up display, 10.25-inch digital instrumentation and a massive 10.0-inch multimedia touchscreen.

In fact, so big is the latter, that there are now no physical HVAC controls, which have all been integrated into the touchscreen system.

Inside the new Golf is a large 10.0-inch multimedia touchscreen. Inside the new Golf is a large 10.0-inch multimedia touchscreen.

The transmission tunnel has also been cleaned up in the jump to new-generation form, with the Golf now sporting two USB-C connection, wireless Apple CarPlay and low-profile shifter.

Vehicle-to-X technology will also be standard on the new Golf, which can communicate with infrastructure such as traffic lights, or other vehicles, up to 800 metres away to send information to the driver.

In overseas markets, the new Golf will launch with five hybrid powertrains, which includes three tunes (81kW, 96kW or 110kW) of the 48-volt mild-hybrid eTSI, and two versions (150kW and 180kW) of the plug-in GTE.

However, Australian market versions of the new Golf will be powered by the same 1.4-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine found in the current VW small car range, which makes 110kW/250Nm in its existing form.

The new Golf has received modernised tail-lights and fake exhaust outlets. The new Golf has received modernised tail-lights and fake exhaust outlets.

International buyers also have the option of two diesel (85kW and 110kW), two three-cylinder petrol (66kW and 81kW) and a natural gas (96kW) engine.

As for the GTI, outputs in Australia should remain steady at 180kW/370Nm from a carryover 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine, while the limited-slip differential will also be retained.

Details of the next Golf R are yet to emerge, but expect to see VW make an announcement on its next flagship hatchback sometime next year.