VOLKSWAGEN: Order books open for Mk8 Golf GTI

VOLKSWAGEN: Order books open for Mk8 Golf GTI

The new Mk8 Volkswagen Golf GTI is now on sale, with prices starting from £33,460 for cars equipped with a six-speed manual, while opting for the quick-shifting seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox will need to find a further £1,500.

Automatic models will arrive with customers in October, with manual variants following a month later.

Golf GTI Rear

The eighth-generation of VW’s iconic hot hatch is the most hi-tech version to date, so it’s not surprising that the price has crept up a bit compared to the last GTI. Once again, it’s slightly more expensive than its main rivals – the Ford Focus ST and Hyundai i30N – but the car’s lineage should mean there’s no shortage of potential buyers.

At the front, the new GTI features a more angular bumper with traditional red contrast detailing, a honeycomb lower grille and unique looking x-shaped fog lights to give it a more ‘aggressive’ look. LED headlights and daytime running lights are standard, and you’ll be able to choose an LED light bar that spans the full width of the radiator grille from the options list.

At the rear, the car features standard LED lights, a new rear spoiler and rear diffuser, and a twin exhaust. The tailgate also features a centrally mounted GTI emblem, along with matching badges on the front grille and wings. The car’s lower side sills are painted black, which is contrasted by matching detailing on the lower sections of the front and rear bumpers.

As standard, 18-inch alloy wheels are fitted with red brake calipers. Larger 19-inch alloy wheels are available on the options list. The car also sits 15mm lower than the regular Golf.

Not only does the GTI get a sporty makeover, it also comes with a long equipment list. All UK cars get matrix LED headlights, keyless entry, three-zone climate control and scrolling indicators.

Golf GTI Interior Seats

Inside, the new Golf GTI combines the traditional and the modern. Signature GTI design features such as tartan seat upholstery and the golf ball gear knob have been updated for the new model, while a flat-bottomed leather-trimmed steering wheel comes with touch controls.

All of the interior tech from the regular Golf has been carried over to the GTI, with a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10-inch infotainment screen equipped with VW’s ‘Discover Pro’ sat nav. Ambient interior lighting is standard, boasting 30 different colours including a GTI-specific mode.

Golf GTI Interior

Tech includes Car2X networking functionality, which gives the car the ability to communicate with other moving cars for live traffic information. Other tech features lifted wholesale from the Mk8 Golf hatchback will include Amazon Alexa voice assistance, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Again, the GTI’s power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 242bhp and 370Nm or torque – unchanged from the old model. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, with the option of a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic. An electronic limited-slip differential can also be specified, which helps to improve traction during cornering.

Golf GTI Engine

The 2020 Golf GTI is capable of 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds (6.2 seconds with the DSG) and a top speed of 155mph, which is identical to the outgoing car. While efficiency figures have yet to be confirmed, estimates suggest the new car will be capable of up to 40mpg.

The new GTI can also be specified with VW’s ‘Dynamic Chassis Control’ system with electronically adjustable suspension. Drivers will be able to pick from three core driving modes called ‘Eco,’ ‘Comfort’, ‘Sport’, which soften or sharpen the car’s driving dynamics depending on the chosen mode. The car’s setup can also be tailored to the driver’s preferences via a fourth ‘Individual’ mode.

Safety tech is also carried over from the standard Golf and includes lane assist and autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, which can automatically apply the brakes if a hazard is detected.

VW has also confirmed that the new GTI will have ‘Travel Assist’, which is essentially a combination of adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist so that the car can effectively drive itself on the motorway. UK laws in this regard mean you’ll still need your hands on the steering wheel.

The GTI will only be offered in a five-door hatchback form; there’s no three-door or estate in the pipeline. Practicality will be very similar to the standard car, with improved rear interior space over the old model. Boot space has yet to be confirmed but it should match the standard Golf with 380 litres of capacity.

The GTI will form a GT trio with the new GTD diesel and GTE petrol-electric plug-in hybrid, which Volkswagen expects will account for around 15% of Golf sales.

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By Wayne Gorrett

Formerly a career marketer, Wayne has been a freelance automotive writer for several years, providing news and reviews for a number of print and web outlets in the UK and South Africa. Says Wayne: "Thanks for reading, and remember: never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly." He is married to Susan and lives in Bishop’s Waltham near Winchester, Hampshire. Twitter: @WaynesWorldAuto Facebook: WaynesWorldAuto