The Volkswagen Golf GTI is always associated with great handling and terrific performance for its price point. Apart from making advancements in material science, thermodynamics as well as better suspension geometry, high-performance computer processors have also aided to bring the new Golf GTIs driving dynamics to a whole new level.
Volkswagen says the eight-generation Golf GTI is the most digital variant of all time, with the entire electronic architecture created from scratch. While it is easy to see the results in the high-quality Digital Cockpit Pro and Discover Media infotainment display, the technological improvements also extend to the chassis.
Central to the fully computer-controlled chassis is the new Vehicle Dynamics Manager, a driving dynamics control system. It integrates the electronic stability control (ESC) with the electronic differential locks (XDS and VAQ) and the continuously adaptive suspension control (DCC).
Thanks to the advanced processors of the Vehicle Dynamics Manager, the activation of a new electronically-controlled front locking differential (VAQ) ensures a more precise torque split between the left and right wheels.
Together, the Vehicle Dynamics Manager and VAQ results in reduced understeer and better acceleration without any loss of traction.
First appeared in the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance as well as GTI TCR models, the new-generation VAQ is now fully integrated into the ESC and DCC control system through the Vehicle Dynamics Manager.
The electronically-controlled multi-plate clutch has a variable degree of intervention depending on the drive modes selected, allowing for more precise torque distribution between the left and right wheels depending on steering angle and suspension compression.
The required damping is calculated for each wheel and adjusted at the four dampers within fractions of a second.
Apart from a new configuration of the suspension arms and the use of lighter aluminium, the shock absorbers now features the updated continuously adaptive suspension control (DCC). Taking into account steering, braking and acceleration data, the required damping force is calculated 200 times a second for each wheel and adjusted at the four dampers almost instantaneously.
A personal mode is also available, allowing the driver to set his or her specific damping level to be softer than the Comfort mode, or harder than the Sport mode.
All that highly intelligent electronic processing and well-aligned suspension members then transfers 245 hp and 370 Nm to the road via large Bridgestone Potenza S005 tyres in 235/45R19 91Y size.
So, has the immense integration of the electronic systems dull the subjective driving feel of the new Golf GTI? Reviewers from the UK say the new car is “tauter, pointier, more direct and move lively to drive” and “entertaining but doesn’t have the final element of precision.”
With our immediate neighbour, Singapore, just recently launched the new Golf and Golf GTI, perhaps the wait for us here in Malaysia shouldn’t be too long, perhaps within Q4 2021.