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.

Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Cars

The best compact cars pack full-size features in fun-size packages

The best compact cars on the market rival their counterparts in many ways, proving that bigger isn’t always better. Here, we've rounded up some of the better options available, including an SUV and an electric alternative.
Cars

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Cars

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.
Cars

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.
Cars

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti has released a teaser image to preview a concept it will unveil at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The yet-unnamed design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

What’s next for in-car entertainment? Audi believes it knows

Audi is bringing two technologies to CES 2019. The first turns a car -- a luxury sedan, in this case -- into a drive-in movie theater. The second is presented as a new entertainment format that turns the journey into the destination.
Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.
Cars

California wants all-electric public bus fleet on its roads by 2040

California approved a regulation that targets an all-electric public bus fleet for the whole state by 2040. The effect of the full implementation of the regulation is equivalent to taking 4 million cars off the road.
Cars

1,000-mph Bloodhound supersonic car project finds a last-minute savior

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has found a buyer. The project was going to be disbanded after running out of funds, but its assets were purchased by British businessman Ian Warhurst.
Cars

Ford’s prototype Quiet Kennel uses noise-canceling tech to keep dogs stress-free

Ford is ending 2018 by venturing into the doghouse market. The company's European division has built a kennel equipped with active noise-canceling technology and soundproof walls that help dogs sleep through fireworks.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.