Who's going to argue against this? No one.
Few could have imagined what the Volkswagen Golf GTI is about to become when the first generation launched way back in 1976. According to a report coming from Germany’s Auto Bild, the eighth-gen GTI is slated to produce up to around 300 hp. To compare, the current GTI has a total of 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque thanks to its turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four.
But the competition is creeping up fast, such as the new Hyundai Veloster N and the Honda Civic Type R, and VW can’t allow the segment’s standard-bearer fall behind. Heck, the current Golf R has 288 hp, though it has one thing the next GTI likely won’t: all-wheel drive.
Expect to see front-wheel-drive return, as has been the case with all previous GTIs. Now it’s also possible that 300 or so ponies will be exclusive for a GTI "Performance” version, while the "standard” GTI will have a slightly more modest 245 hp on tap. Auto Bild further claims the new hot hatch’s exterior styling will feature a narrow grille, larger lower intake, dual exhaust tips, and a roof spoiler.
While the styling will be updated, as is done with every new generation Golf, it will still be immediately recognizable as a GTI. But think about it. A 300 or so hp GTI that’s still FWD? Assuming this rumor is true (Auto Bild is known as a reliable source), then it’ll be interesting to see what VW engineers will come up with to avoid potential torque steer.
Anyone remember the last Mazdaspeed3? And to add to the new GTI’s higher performance, there’ll also reportedly be an available lap timer and lateral acceleration indicator. We expect for VW to unveil the new Golf lineup sometime in the next few months, possibly at Geneva and a North American debut the following month at New York. Sources also claim the new GTI is slated to go on sale in early 2020, meaning a 2019 reveal is likely.