Those fender flares are something else.
It's a bittersweet year for Volkswagen Golf fans in North America. While the new Golf GTI is due to go on sale later in 2021, the more affordable versions of the Golf 8 won't be sold here. That's sad news for a model that has such a rich history in this market.
A big part of the Golf's appeal over the years has been its universally unoffensive styling. The Golf 8 has some unique details to set it apart but there's no mistaking what it is in profile. Unless, of course, it's wearing the new Golf 8 widebody kit from German styling house Prior Design. It transforms the fairly conservative GTI hatchback into something much more menacing.
Prior Design is known for its widebody kits on cars such as the C7 Corvette Stingray, but to see the same treatment applied to the more conservative Golf is a bit of a shock. From the front, there is a prominent lower lip below a gaping intake section. Red striping adds to the aggressive face. However, it's those dramatically flared fenders that really steal the show. They add considerable width to the Golf's body, although from the back, there are two huge inlets that could be termed excessive. A rear diffuser and dual tailpipes look good but these elements are rendered almost invisible by the widened body.
Prior Design has also added some of its own graphics along the side and, fortunately, this isn't too offensive. Along with larger wheels (which actually look a lot better than the stock GTI's rims), the overall look will definitely get you noticed in a hurry. If you would prefer something more subtle, Oettinger has come up with an aesthetically pleasing but much more subtle kit of its own for the upcoming GTI.
Speaking of which, when the GTI does finally get to the US, its turbo-four engine will make around 245 horsepower based on European specs. With or without a widebody kit, it's likely to once again be one of the best-balanced hot hatchbacks on the market.