Prototypes of the Volkswagen Golf facelift have been spotted testing for several months, but it wasn't until the beginning of October when we first laid eyes on the GTI. A new report from the British magazine Autocar states the updated Grand Tourer Injection will be out in early 2024 with some significant changes. Chief of which will allegedly be an upgraded turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine producing more than the 241 hp available today.

That’s not all too surprising considering VW has been selling stronger Golf GTIs in Europe for many years. One relevant example is the Clubsport, packing a meaty 296 hp, without stepping on the R's toes since it still has less power and a front-wheel-drive layout. Autocar speculates the regular GTI could benefit from a bump in output of 20 hp, which would take it to 261 hp to mirror the not-for-US 2024 Passat and Tiguan with the 2.0 TSI engine.

Volkswagen Golf GTI Facelift Spy Photos

According to the same report, the four-cylinder mill might be boosted to somewhere in the region of 300 pound-feet, which would represent an increase of 27 lb-ft over the current Golf GTI. That Clubsport we mentioned earlier is rated at 295 lb-ft. Even though the "380" special edition unveiled in late August signaled the end of the six-speed manual gearbox, there is still hope for a stick shift. Watered-down Euro 7 emissions regulations could convince VW to take a 180-degree turn and still sell its performance compact hatch with a manual.

Other hardware improvements believed to be in the pipeline include a stiffer rear axle and an upgraded adaptive suspension. Spy shots have revealed there will be some mild exterior changes while the interior is getting a much larger touchscreen for VW’s latest infotainment system.

Autocar believes the peeps from Wolfsburg will want to celebrate the Golf GTI's 50th anniversary in 2026 with an "Edition 50" special variant featuring even more power and other goodies.

Lest we forget VW has already announced this eighth-generation model is the last Golf to offer combustion engines, meaning the forthcoming update will effectively be the ICE's swan song. In late September, the German brand revealed the all-electric Mk9 is going to be manufactured in Wolfsburg from near the end of the decade on the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) architecture.

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