Volkswagen has officially revealed the world’s most recognisable hot hatchback, and it’s a stunner. The Golf GTI has come a long way since 1976, with the eighth iteration of the hot hatch given more power, more equipment, and promising more driving pleasure than ever before.
Codenamed EA888 evo4, the familiar 2.0-litre turbo four-pot has been massaged to produce 245 hp and a maximum torque of 370 Nm.
A standard 6-speed manual transmission delivers power to the front wheels, and as usual there is an option for a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission.
The front and rear axles uses a tried and true combination of MacPherson and multi-link setups, and for the first time ever there is a new Vehicle Dynamics Manager. It controls the ‘sharpness’ of the XDS electronic differential lock, and if the optional DCC adaptive chassis control is specified, the system will also optimise the lateral movement of the dampers.
As we know, DCC has four modes, COMFORT, ECO, SPORT and INDIVIDUAL, but interestingly, the final customisable mode can go beyond comfort to ‘decouple’ the car from the road surface for an even more relaxed ride. It can also go beyond sport mode to make the GTI, well, sportier.
Both head lights and tail lights are full LED. Up front, the DRLs stretch across the headlights and radiator grille, broken only by the VW emblem, and on top of the lights is a similarly continuous red accent. Below it is a new (and huge) honeycomb grille that features optional fog lights in a ‘X’ pattern.
Move to the rear and you’ll find the iconic ‘GTI’ letters directly below the VW badge, flanked by newly designed tail light clusters. The spoiler merges visually with the rear windows through black edging, while split twin tailpipes and a diffuser completes the look.
At the side you’ll see 17-inch Richmond alloy wheels which are unique to the GTI, while 18 and 19-inch options are also available. Finally, black side sills run across the car to merge with the splitter up front, and the diffuser at the rear.
A new multi-function steering wheel comes with touch controls and in a nod to its heritage, the seats have retained that classic chequered pattern called Scalepaper. Red accents abound of course, as it is a GTI after all.
New inside here is a 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit and a big 10-inch infotainment screen. If the top range Digital Cockpit is specified, both the screens can be merged to form the Innovation Cockpit. We’re looking forward to see it as well.
Like the Passat we reviewed recently, there are 30 different colours for the ambient lighting and their intensity can be customised. Lastly, for cars with the standard 6-speed manual box, there is a new GTI gear knob, and if specified with the 7-speed DSG, you get this knob-switch thingamajig.
Items like Lane Assist lane keeping system, Front Assist Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring, XDS electronic differential lock and Car2X (local communication with other vehicles and the traffic infrastructure) come standard.
Safety equipment wasn’t stated in the press release, but one can at least hope for a good suite of them in the Volkswagen Golf GTI when it’s launched here.
The Golf GTD and Golf GTE were similarly premiered as well. The Volkswagen Golf GTD has a 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine that makes 200 hp and 400 Nm of torque. The 7-speed DSG is standard in this model.
For the hybrid GTE, the 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine makes 150 hp while the hybrid module makes 116 hp. Together, the output is 245 hp and 400 Nm of torque. Unlike the other two models, it uses a 6-speed DSG.
Equipment across the models are mostly the same and while each model receives obvious visual distinctions, like the red, silver, and blue accents in the GTI, GTD, and GTE respectively.
IMAGE GALLERY – VOLKSWAGEN GTI
IMAGE GALLERY – VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTD
IMAGE GALLERY – VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTE