Volkswagen Golf ‘8.5’ GTI teased at CES with updated cabin, ChatGPT

Published Jan 9, 2024


Volkswagen has chosen the tech extravaganza that is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to give us our first peek at the facelifted Golf “8.5” in GTI guise.

The prototype still wears an external disguise, but we do see a new bumper design complete with boomerang-like elements. Judging by its sporty design components, such as the large rear spoiler, this is likely the Clubsport version of the GTI, which is not sold in South Africa.

Volkswagen has fully revealed the cockpit of the new model, which includes a new freestanding central touchscreen, with a bottom lip incorporating separate controls for the climate system.

Volkswagen Golf GTI

It’s also pleasing to see the steering wheel has ditched the slider controls in favour of conventional buttons, something the company promised it would do after widespread criticism.

The new cabin also incorporates GhatGPT into its IDA voice assistant, allowing owners to have researched content read out to them while driving. Not only can this artificial intelligence system be used to control the car’s infotainment, navigation and climate systems but it can also answer general knowledge questions, and possibly even settle arguments between passengers!

Volkswagen says it will be the first volume carmaker to offer GhatGPT as a standard feature in many of its vehicles from the second quarter of 2024 onwards. In addition to the Golf 8.5, this includes new Tiguan and Passat models as well as the ID electric range.

The company says it does not gain access to any vehicle data, with questions and answers being deleted “immediately”.

New Golf GTI could have more power

While the Golf on show at the CES still wears camo, Volkswagen is planning to fully reveal the updated model within weeks from now.

In addition to revised styling and cabin tech, the hatchback also gets updated powertrains and chassis systems.

Furthermore it is strongly rumoured that the GTI version will gain more power, possibly to the tune of around 195kW.

It’s believed that this will be the last combustion engined Volkswagen Golf model.

Click here to read about the electric GTI of the future.

IOL Motoring