Say hello to the eighth-generation Golf GTI.
Volkswagen's ever-popular Golf model line has evolved yet again, and while the German automaker has pulled the more pedestrian of the Golf models from US showrooms, we will get this: the all-new, eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI.
This brand new GTI will make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month, packing 245 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque courtesy of a direct-injected turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder petrol engine. That's a full 17 horsepower and 15 lb-ft more than the outgoing GTI, which will be channeled to the front wheels through a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Okay, those figures are hardly enough to set the world on fire, and they refer to the European-market GTI; there's no telling how the specifics might change after it crosses the Atlantic to reach US showrooms.
But of course, the powertrain isn't all that will change as the GTI enters its eighth generation. Vehicle ride and handling should see a substantial improvement, too, thanks to a new driving dynamics control system dubbed the "Vehicle Dynamics Manager". That system manages the XDS electronic locking differential and optional DCC adaptive damping, if so-equipped, to optimize the driving dynamics depending on the situation.
And then, there's the design, which sports a sleek new look defined largely by a sharp, distinctive horizontal line made by the thin upper grille and low-mounted standard LED headlights. The lower grille, meanwhile, is broad, massive, and features a sporty honeycomb pattern. Optional foglamps are arranged into a peculiar X-shape integrated into the sides of the grille.
Out back, the GTI flaunts a new set of standard LED taillights and an aggressive, sporty lower diffuser, which incorporates a pair of polished exhaust tips. But arguably the most characteristic feature of the new GTI's exterior design is the C-pillars, which have been sculpted to recall the original GTI's classic looks, bringing its signature design into the modern era.
Inside, the GTI's trademark tartan (read: plaid) seat inserts haven't gone anywhere, although they've been updated with a new "Scalepaper" design, while the steering wheel has been totally reworked with three double-spokes and new touch controls. More distinctive is the Innovision Cockpit, which couples a 10.25-inch digital instrument panel with a 10-inch infotainment screen, forming an immersive and convenient cockpit for the driver.
As for features, the new Golf GTI boasts a standard lane keeping system, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, Climatronic automatic climate control, Volkswagen's XDS electronic locking differential, and even Car2X (a.k.a. V2X, or vehicle-to-everything) communication.
Naturally, we'll have to wait a bit before we know how the new US-market GTI differs from its European brother, but overall, the redesign looks like a home run. Look for it at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show next month.