Given Volkswagen's recent announcement that it is pulling a Rabbit out of a hat Golf, and that Easter has just fallen off the calendar, we thought we'd remind readers that they can still purchase something very close to VeeDub's original bad bunny. That is, provided you call South Africa home.

In fact, Volkswagen's just announced that it's freshening the hot hatch icon. Known in SA as the Citi Golf, the 2006 facelift includes new rear light clusters and a reworked chin spoiler, among other alterations.

Inside, buyers and Windows-shoppers expecting the boxy hard-plastic first-gen era dashboard will be shocked to find that VW has massively updated the interior to appear more-or-less current. A split three-spoke steering wheel with metal-effect trim dominates the interior, and the instrument panel is slightly dated standard-VW fare, but SA consumers now have five new color choices from which to chose. Of course, the classic 'golf ball' shift knob has been retained.

(More photographs, information, and video links after the jump!)

With a starting price of 67,780 Rand (@ $11k U.S. dollars) and a 1.4-liter engine putting out 54 kW (74 horsepower) in base 'Chico' trim, the Volkswagen Citi Golf isn't cheap by American standards, but it is in line with local competition. Top-rung 1.6i models put out 101 horses and base at (around $16k U.S.). The pickup variant soldiers on in South Africa, as well.

From looking at Citi Golf, one might get the impression that VWSA's entire lineup is made up of Jurrasic castoffs, but interestingly enough, this Rabbit Redux shares showroom space with the current-generation Passat and Touareg. Perhaps this VW's less Rabbit and more Energizer Bunny, but its durability is nothing short of incredible. The reworked Citi Golf shown here is just now starting to hit dealer forecourts.

Check out these pre-facelift Citi Golf commercials, some of which trade on the 'Forever Young' theme:

Alright. So a few of us on the Autoblog staff have always had a soft spot for A1 GTIs with their sublime-for-the-day handling, hot hatch daddy rep and ridiculously cool tartan seat fabrics. This cinches it. We need a new project car.

[Source: Volkswagen South Africa]