The three iconic letters makes its official debut on the latest iteration VW Golf.
Ever since the launch of the new 8th iteration of the Volkswagen Golf, the question on every enthusiasts’ lips is: When will the GTI come? Well, the wait is finally over, as VW today has announced that bookings for the Mk8 Golf GTI are now open.
Having sold nearly 2.3 million Golf GTIs since the GTI nameplate debut on the Mk1 Golf back in 1976, Volkswagen intends to continue this hot hatch success with this latest iteration of performance hatchback. To that end, VW claims that this GTI is full of innovation, perhaps to keep it up to date with the ever competitive field of supercar-rivalling hot hatches out there.
The main feature touted by Volkswagen regarding this latest GTI is perhaps its new Vehicle Dynamics Manager. Working in tandem with the electronic XDS differential lock and the optional DCC damping system, this new feature is supposedly able effectively eliminate understeer. And as a result ‘provide an even more precise driving experience’ when behind the wheel of the new GTI.
This driving experience though will probably be further enhanced by what is under the bonnet of the GTI. Powering the latest performance Golf is VW’s newest evo4 generation of its EA888 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder. Mated to a seven speed dual-clutch DSG transmission and still driving solely the front wheels, this engine is capable of pumping out 245 PS and an impressive 370 Nm of torque, hence is capable of rocketing this hot hatch to an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).
Much like the previous generations of GTIs, several distinctive GTI trademarks can still be found on this Mk8 version. On the outside, the signature red pin stripe running across the front grille still remains. This time however it is accompanied by an illuminated LED strip below it. New for the Mk8 GTI is also the distinctive honey comb fog lights on the front apron. An interesting design first seen on the concept car that has made it into production.
At the sides, a small GTI decal gives away this Golf’s sporty potential. While out the back, a roof spoiler, diffuser and two round tailpipes located at the outer sides complete the GTI look.
Inside, the tartan seats so iconic to the GTI remain. Sadly though, the famous golf ball shifter synonymous to the GTI is now a small nub sticking out of the centre console. Aside from the three spoke sports steering wheel and a now standard keyless go feature, the interior is pretty much standard Mk8 Golf fare.
Prices for the Mk8 Golf GTI in Germany start at 37,607.38 euros (RM 184,000). Although there are undoubtably more powerful, better handling and even perhaps better looking hot hatches out there, it is still nice to see the three letters so symbolic to the hot hatch breed is still available on the latest iteration of VW’s iconic hatchback.
More information can be found in the press release below:
Things continue apace with the new Golf: following the sales launch of the new Golf GTE just a few days ago, the next flagship model of the Golf family is now also available – the new Golf GTI. This sporty model has enhanced the product portfolio since 1976.
Jürgen Stackmann, Member of the Volkswagen Brand Board of Management responsible for Sales, explains: “For over four decades, the three letters GTI have stood for sporty driving pleasure and technology at the highest level. We thank our customers for 2.3 million Golf GTI sold. The new GTI is full of innovation. It too will set new standards and thrill our customers.”
Networked and with active driving dynamics. Like its predecessors, the latest version of the Golf GTI has also been equipped with groundbreaking technical features. The turbocharged engine now develops 180 kW / 245 PS, its torque is 370 Nm. The agility and sportiness has been perfected with the new, networked Vehicle Dynamics Manager. This higher-level control system centrally coordinates all electromechanical running gear functions. DCC running gear with variable shock absorbers is optionally available so that GTI drivers can choose their own very individual setup using the standard driving profile selection. The result is an even more precise driving experience.
Digital and innovative. The digital displays of the standard Digital Cockpit and infotainment system start up as soon as the doors are opened. Discover Media – including streaming and internet – is installed here as standard, while the 10-inch Discover Pro system is optionally available as the maximum specification level. A new and individual feature is the possibility of activating a custom GTI design. Here, the rev counter is displayed in the middle of the Digital Cockpit. The new standard background lighting bathes the displays and many other illuminated interior areas in a spectrum of 30 freely configurable colours.
Unmistakably GTI. Typical GTI details are also preserved in the new generation. The classic checked pattern has been given a new, fresh look, and now covers the also newly developed sports seats. The new Golf no longer has an ignition lock – this has been replaced by an Engine Start/Stop button (standard equipment), which is notable in that after the doors are opened, it pulses red until the engine is started. The three-spoke sports steering wheel of old has been transformed into a new multifunction leather sports steering wheel with touch controls and an optionally integrated Travel Assist button to permit assisted driving of the Golf up to speeds of 210 km/h.
The design of the new Golf GTI also matches its added driving dynamics. At the front, the wide air intakes, low-positioned standard LED headlights and unmistakable signature light on the radiator grille are particularly distinctive. The latter is illuminated for the first time by a narrow LED strip, which flows on the left and right into the headlight modules. At the rear, the roof spoiler, diffuser and two round tailpipes located at the outer sides are striking distinguishing features of the sporty GTI variant.