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