Throughout the history of the automotive industry, manufacturers have made improvements to the models they build without moving up a generation. Examples are plentiful as you go through the most popular auto brands, including those found under the umbrella of the Volkswagen Group (VAG) such as Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda, even the premium brands such as the Bentley (like the Continental GT in 2011) or the newest SUV in the stable of Lamborghini, the Urus (facelifted version rumored to come in late-2022 or 2023). Facelifting a model could stem from the fact that investing in a re-tooling of a factory could not yet deliver the required profit to offset the investment, thus, a minor or a medium redesign of the same vehicle’s basic design can provide a second wind to the sales of a vehicle.
On other occasions, facelifts are used to improve the core weaknesses of a model. Whether it would be a part that would fail before the designated interval or a segment of the body that would be susceptible to rust, manufacturers use the opportunity to make improvements that would protect the face of a model year in the eyes of the buyers.
Market dynamics can also play a part. If a competitor releases a newly-produced model into the market segment where another manufacturer‘s model has reached its midlife cycle, the new entrant could prove detrimental to keeping up the pace, relative to the trends in a car’s sales cycle, amidst new competition.
However, facelifts can be simple modifications to the exterior of the vehicle that makes a car more attractive on the outside with new bumpers, lights, and taillights, perhaps even a new set of mirrors to restyle the exterior, and once again, rejuvenate the life cycle of a vehicle. While buyers looking for a new car might be tempted to buy the facelifted version due to it being a new style that perhaps is aligned to what’s cool and ‘hip’ at the moment in time, the current owners of a model might not have the same temptations to splash the cash – yet the styling could be attractive enough to perhaps eye a swap of body parts on their current four-wheel machine.
Fortunately, swapping lights, bumpers, and body panels can be an easy process that is no different than changing them following an accident, for example, as more often than not, it all comes back to the fact that changing fundamental mounting points is costly and again, would not be profitable for the manufacturer.
Here is a basic rundown of the parts that are easy to change on a pre-facelifted model to make it look like it was facelifted.
Changing headlights and taillights to a facelift model
The car’s lights are one of the most obvious spots to look at when changing a vehicle‘s styling to a facelift model, as perhaps sometimes even LED lights could be added to a model‘s lineup once it has been restyled. They can look more eye-catching, with strips replacing the traditional look of a turn signal, making the car look more aggressive and subsequently, more appealing.
We can take a Volkswagen Golf MK7 as an example. With the beginning of its manufacturing lifecycle in 2012, the seventh-generation Golf was refreshed in 2016. Three years later, it was replaced by the MK8 of Volkswagen’s best-selling hatchback.
Still, the facelifted model changed the fundamental look of the lights at both ends of the car, as new and more futuristic-looking LED strips replaced the now-rather-dated blinkers.
Switching out the taillights, as well as the headlights that are put on a facelifted Volkswagen Golf MK7 (MK 7.5) on a pre-facelift Golf MK7 is not a simple process, as the wiring is different between the two cars’ lights, as well as the connectors. Another thing you have to be mindful of is that the control unit responsible for the lighting of the car would recognize the new lights, as then you could do further modifications and most importantly, will avoid errors on the dashboard.
In case you do not want to do it manually, OBDeleven offers One-Click Apps that allow easy retrofits, including a One-Click App to inform the control unit that MK7.5 headlights and/or taillights were retrofitted onto an MK7. With the help of the ready-to-use solution, you will integrate your new headlights onto your car. Furthermore, you will also be able to change the way they blink by now having access to more One-Click Apps, such as the Urban Joke taillight modification.
Changing bumpers and other body parts to a facelift model
Following the exemplary modification process of facelifting a Golf MK7, you will also have to change certain body parts to not only make it look newer but also to fit the newly-installed lights.
The front and rear bumper will not be enough, as you will also have to switch up the front fenders in order to fit the headlights and the new front bumper, as they would not line up if you do not have the upgraded fenders. As a result, facelifting a car can become a costly venture. However, the end cost of upgrading your pre-facelift vehicle to a newer version of the same model can differ between models and manufacturers, as they make cosmetic changes to a varying degree making it either more expensive or more budget-friendly. Still, if you are switching out anything that is controlled by a vehicle’s control unit, such as the lights, you have to make sure that the units recognize the retrofitted parts.
OBDeleven with already-made One-Click Apps provides that access to its users without having to go deep into the software of the car. With a user-friendly solution, you can be certain that if you do decide to retrofit parts from a facelifted model on your pre-facelift vehicle, at least adapting the parts to the current control units will be a smooth and easy process, no matter if you are doing it on your Volkswagen Golf, Audi A6, Skoda Octavia, Seat Leon, or any other Volkswagen Group (VAG) vehicle.