Next-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI Teased
Denizens of the United States, you should forget about the word “Golf” and just focus on the “GTI” designation. That’s all you’ll really need to know about, what with Volkswagen opting to ditch the slow-selling Golf in favor of the hotter (GTI) and hottest (R) variants of its compact hatch.
The final inhabitants of a rejiggered U.S. product lineup have yet to be set in stone, but the GTO variant of the upcoming eighth-generation Golf is surely on its way. Today brought our first glimpse of the model.
Teased by VW in a cropped rendering of a “near-production concept car,” the next GTI is what you’d expect — a sportier take on the base Golf, retaining the same profile as its predecessor but gaining a tiny bit of size and a whole lot of tech.
Fog lights peek out from behind honeycomb mesh that fills the GTI’s expansive mouth, one which actually calls to mind Toyota’s Corolla. It looks like it’s ready to hoover up anything in its path, including, perhaps, your money. Above it, an LED light bar connects the slim headlamps to the center badge, ensuring instant nighttime recognition.
Never before have automakers been so adventurous with front-end lighting. That red stripe remains, thankfully, as the look-at-me light bar is an optional feature.
Due for a reveal at next month’s Geneva Motor Show, the 2021 Golf GTI will offer a very digital experience behind the wheel. VW’s Digital Cockpit is “a completely digitalised interior landscape of displays and controls,” something youngsters will like and old-timer purists will surely loathe. See a preview of it here. VW’s Travel Assist driver-assist system will also make an appearance, offering lane holding and smart cruise at speeds of up to 210 km/h (130 mph).
As for the powertrain, Volkswagen had no specifics to give. All the automaker can say is that the “power delivery of the GTI turbo engine will exceed expectations. The same can be said of the running gear, which can be set precisely by the driver in conjunction with a new DCC generation (adaptive chassis control).”
The current-gen GTI hosts a turbocharged 2.0-liter making 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. Expect more grunt when the new one launches (beginning in Europe) in the second half of 2020.
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