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

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.

[Images: Volkswagen]

Join the conversation
3 of 32 comments
  • 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.

  • Gregtwelve While Sichuan managed to avoid the nationwide energy rationing witnessed in 2021, attributed to a lack of coalWe have plenty of coal. Let's sell them something for a change. And let us not forget that historically the Chinese hate the Japanese for what they did in WW2, so that might have something to do with it.
  • Jkross22 A toenail in every pot.
  • SCE to AUX If the plant had been powered by internal combustion, this wouldn't have happened. The entire plant is just a toy for the rich.
  • Jkross22 Gotta give the auto industry trollups some props - trying to guilt their johns into giving a bigger tip. Hilarious! Can't ever say Mary Barra doesn't have a helluva sense of humor.
  • SCE to AUX No, until the Board of Directors decides otherwise.Same with sports figures and actors. Don't like it? Then quit buying the product.