The hot hatch daddy is about to be reborn.
Fans of the Volkswagen Golf hatchback haven't had much to celebrate recently as the highly-anticipated eighth-generation model has been repeatedly delayed. Despite the setbacks, the new Golf is expected to debut in October 2019, although VW has confirmed that the base model, along with the SportWagen variant, will not be sold in the United States.
There is a bright side, however, as the sportier Golf GTI will still be offered on our shores. It may be some time before Volkswagen brings the next-generation GTI to the US, but VW promises the wait will be worth it. To help remind you of that and get you excited about the Mk8 Golf, our spy photographers have sent us a new batch of photos of a GTI prototype they caught testing.
The GTI prototype can easily be distinguished from the base Golf via its large air intakes, deep front spoiler, aggressive rear spoiler, wider wheels, and dual exhaust. Some details are still protected by camouflage, but the GTI should continue to look similar to the base Golf, albeit with a much sportier flavor.
Power still remains a mystery, with early rumors estimating the new car could produce around 290 to 300 horsepower from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder driving the front wheels. If true, the new GTI could be nearly as powerful as the current Golf R and the Europe-only GTI TCR Edition, which produces 286 hp.
VW has already said the Mk8 GTI will not be a fully electric car but that it could adopt some form of electrification, like a 48-volt mild hybrid system, to achieve those lofty power estimates. The current Mk7 GTI only produces 220 hp from its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, so we remain dubious about the 300 hp claims for the Mk8. VW hasn't taken massive power leaps in recent years when transitioning to a new generation, so an 80 hp jump seems like a lot. Even if the power rumors turn out to be overly optimistic, the new GTI should offer plenty of other improvements to keep enthusiasts happy.