VW adding ChatGPT to Golf in update for its 50th birthday

BERLIN: Volkswagen's most successful car is getting a facelift for its 50th birthday, and the eighth generation adds the ability to have general conversations with the car - in addition to a number of updates on the inside and out.

The German manufacturer says a revised version of the compact classic featuring a ChatGPT-enhanced digital assistant will go on sale in the second quarter of 2024, but is not naming prices (the current Golf starts at €29,275 or RM151,000 in its home market of Germany).

Changes on the outside of the new Golf are limited to new headlights, new rear lights and a new front apron on the outside, but on the inside, the entire cockpit has been remodelled.


Here there are even larger displays, while the (often criticised) slider bar under the free-standing centre screen is now illuminated, promising to make it easier to use.

But the most head-turning change of all is the addition of a voice assistant relying on ChatGPT. VW promises that this will make dialogue more natural and says the Golf will now be able to rely on the knowledge of the Internet and answer almost any question.

Drivers and passengers can activate the voice assistant by saying "Hello IDA" or pressing a button on the steering wheel, and where VW's in-house assistant can't provide an answer, ChatGPT will be anonymously queried.

Voice assistants are not new to cars, however VW's plan is to make communication with the car more natural with the help of ChatGPT's advanced level of communication.


It is also set to allow Volkswagen's voice assistance software to help answer all sorts of practical questions beyond the basic operation of vehicle systems, and in areas where traditional voice assistants from car manufacturers would fall short.

Although rival car manufacturers appear to have similar plans to Volkswagen, the German automotive giant says it is set to be the first major manufacturer to install ChatGPT in series production vehicles.

Beyond the addition of AI, the Golf also has a few changes under the bonnet, and VW says the direct-injection petrol engines are to be more powerful and the diesels more efficient.


There are more engines with 48V mild hybrid technology and new plug-in hybrids are bridging the gap to the electric era. VW says it has increased the size of the batteries to allow for an electric range of up to 100km, while also kitting the Golf out for DC quick-charging with 50 kW charging capacity.

VW says buyers will be able to choose from nine engine variants, from the 1.5-litre petrol engine with 115 hp to the more powerful GTI, which is now listed with 265 hp.

Autos Volkswagen