Mk8 Volkswagen GTI Hops a Slow Boat to U.S.

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Everyone’s favorite German warm (hottish?) hatch debuted in eight-generation guise early this year, enticing purists with a profile and performance envelope not too dissimilar from what came before. Perfect for VW diehards.

The only problem here is that, despite pent-up anticipation for the Mk8 GTI, America’s favorite Golf variant isn’t about to arrive anytime soon.

Per Road & Track, North American Golf product manager Meghan Closset told media on a conference call Wednesday that the next-gen GTI will take its time getting here from Europe, arriving likely in the third quarter of 2021 as a 2022 model.

That’s in keeping with the year-long delay seen with past GTIs, though it’s possible that complications of the coronavirus pandemic could push its boat trip further into the future. Time will tell.

As America isn’t expected to receive the base MK8 Golf, which debuted in Europe in October of last year, all future GTIs and Golf Rs are expected to come via Wolfsburg, Germany. VW’s Golf plant in Puebla, Mexico will, however, crank out a Mk7 GTI for the 2021 model year, tiding over the enthusiast crowd until its ever-so-slightly-enlarged successor arrives.

Boasting 245 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque (in Euro-spec form) from its upgraded 2.0-liter turbo inline-four, the next-gen GTI improves on the Mk7 GTI’s performance figures. The only controversial decision here would seem to be the car’s honeycomb-style lower grille. As before, a six-speed manual comes standard, with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic optional. U.S. specifications have yet to be released.

[Images: Volkswagen]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on May 14, 2020

    The interior of this new GTI is waaayy too weird. No buttons, slider for volume control and a face that looks like it just ate a lemon. The current GTI, especially with tartan seats, is the high water mark. Kind of like how BMW's 3 series from the early 2000s is still the best looking they've made. I can guarantee a way for VW to sell at least one more Arteon. For the R-Design, put the VR6 in it and offer up those tartan seats. You're vw for chrissake... act like it! Offer options that no one else does.

    • FreedMike FreedMike on May 14, 2020

      The best thing VW can do with the Arteon is put an Audi badge on it. After all, Audi doesn't have a great looking five-door hatch. Wait...

  • Bobbysirhan Bobbysirhan on May 14, 2020

    I think they've taken their design stagnation a step too far. This just looks like a blobby flaccid shadow of what has come before.

  • Cprescott My 2016 Hyundai that I bought in January 2019 cost $13k and takes less than 10 minutes to fuel and gets over 500 miles to a tank - lifetime average MPG of 45. Golf carts make no sense at all.
  • ToolGuy If I were in the market for a new truck today (and I'm not) I would take a long look at the Ram. 8 years ago this would not have been the case. Sample size = 1.
  • Pianoboy57 This car won't crush anything. It'll get crushed by all the F250s we have around here.
  • Ajla At $22K to start it might have some legs. At $34K I don't know why they are bothering.
  • Redapple2 Love the styling of the amazon delivery thingy.