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VW will give the Golf more tech features, and a 420-hp range-topping model

Volkswagen GTI Clubsport
Volkswagen is preparing to give the seventh-generation Golf a mid-cycle update, a new report finds. The revamped hatchback will allegedly be presented to the public in March at the Geneva Auto Show.

Few will be surprised to hear that the visual updates will be discreet at best — we’re talking about a Volkswagen, after all. According to German magazine Auto Bild, the Golf is in for a very minor nip and tuck that will bring re-styled bumpers on both ends, slightly revised lights, as well as the usual assortment of new alloy wheel designs and paint colors.

The modifications will be a lot more noticeable in the cabin. The digital, fully configurable instrument cluster that’s already offered on the Euro-spec Passat will be available as an option on select trim levels, and high-end variants like the all-electric e-Golf, the GTI (pictured), and the Golf R will come standard with the technology. A heads-up display will also join the list of options, and the Golf will get a 9.2-inch touch screen that will run the latest generation of Volkswagen’s infotainment system.

Sources close to the Wolfsburg-based car maker told Auto Bild that the updated Golf will be unveiled online in the coming weeks, but we’re taking the report with a grain of salt. Volkswagen hasn’t announced what it will show in Geneva yet, and there’s no guarantee that the updates detailed above will apply to the U.S.-spec model.

What’s next? 

For enthusiasts, Volkswagen is preparing to launch the production version of the 395-horsepower Golf R400 concept that was presented to the public two years ago at the Beijing Auto Show. The car maker has turned the dial up to 11, and the searing-hot hatch — which will likely wear the R420 moniker — is expected to boast at least 420 ponies. Some sources claim the R420 will use a steroid-injected version of the Golf R’s 2.0-liter turbo four, while others believe Volkswagen will shoe-horn the Audi RS3’s 2.5-liter straight-five.

Regardless of what’s under the hood, the R420 will use a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission controlled by shift paddles and an evolution of Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system. Bigger brakes and a thoroughly redesigned suspension system will keep the power in check.

The Golf R420 will likely greet the public for the first time in April at the Beijing Auto Show. It will land in Volkswagen showrooms as a 2017 model, but production will be strictly limited.

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