The new Volkswagen Golf GTI is here
Volkswagen on Thursday took the wraps off its new eighth-generation Golf GTI, ahead of the 2020 Geneva International Motor Show. Evolutionary rather than revolutionary (especially in terms of looks, we think), it is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged direct-injection engine (the “EA888 evo4") that churns outs 180kW and a reasonably healthy 370Nm worth of torque.
Volkswagen hasn't released any official performance figures, but expect the new GTI to be snappy. A six-speed manual transmission is standard (hallelujah), but we're sure most customers will spec the new optional seven-speed fly-by-wire dual clutch gearbox (DSG).
Chassis wise the new GTI sports a McPherson front axle and multi-link rear suspension. A new driving dynamics control system, known as the “Vehicle Dynamics Manager” is used for the first time. It controls the function of the XDS electronic differential lock and the adaptive dampers on cars fitted with optional DCC adaptive chassis control. According to Volkswagen, this “increases the spread between maximum comfort and maximum dynamics, and the vehicle benefits from significantly sharpened driving dynamics as a result”.
Seventeen-inch “Richmond” alloy wheels come fitted as standard, but you can choose to specify 18- or 19-inch alternatives. A new design feature we quite like are the five individual fog lights integrated into each side of the car's gaping honeycomb grille.
Inside you'll find a huge 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system offering the latest and greatest in smartphone integration. Plaid seats (a throwback to the 1976 original) feature in the official press photographs, but we doubt they'll be making their way to the South African market.