Volkswagen has unveiled the eighth generation Golf GTI, ushering the definitive hot hatch into the new decade.
Little has changed under the skin, with the Mk8 iteration riding on a mildly revised version of the modular MQB platform that underpinned its predecessor.
Under the bonnet is the same ‘EA888’ 2.0-litre turbocharged, four-cylinder petrol engine, tuned to produce 180kW (242hp) of power and 370Nm of torque (273lb-ft) – identical outputs to the outgoing Mk7.5 GTI Performance, but 11kW/20Nm (15hp/15lb-ft) up on the previous ‘base’ GTI.
Drive is still sent to the front wheels through a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions.
No acceleration figures have been claimed, though a 0-100km/h (62mph) figure in the low 6.0-second bracket is expected.
Available performance features under the skin include a locking front differential and adaptive dampers – both controlled by a new ‘Vehicle Dynamics Manager’ system – plus variable-ratio electric power steering, large sports brakes and four drive modes: Comfort, Eco, Sport and Individual.
The GTI rides 15mm lower than standard Golf models, with its arches filled by 17-inch ‘Richmond’ alloy wheels wrapped in Bridgestone performance tyres. Larger 18- and 19-inch rims are available as an option.
Visually, the hot Golf can be differentiated from its regular siblings via its chequered-flag LED fog lights, larger air intakes, sporty side skirts, rear lip spoiler, dual exhaust tips, red highlights on the brake calipers and red-accented LED lighting up front.
Inside, the Grand Tourer Injection’s trademark tartan cloth seat pattern adorns the front sports seats, and is complemented by red contrast stitching, flat-bottomed GTI steering wheel, alloy pedals and a golf-ball-shaped shift knob on manual cars.
There’s also a suite of advanced connected technology available either as standard or as an option, including a 10.25-inch digital instrument binnacle, 10-inch infotainment touchscreen and 30-mode ambient LED lighting.
The Volkswagen Golf GTI is set to make its debut at the Geneva motor show later this week, ahead of an on-sale date in Australia in late 2020. Launch dates in other markets are yet to be confirmed.
A hi-po GTI TCR model is expected to be revealed later this year, powered by a 221kW (296hp) version of the same 2.0-litre turbo.