It gains 11 kW over its predecessor and the 2,0-litre turbo-charged engine now produces 180 kW and 370 Nm and it is the new Golf 8 GTI, due for local launch in the second quarter.
South Africa is one of the biggest Golf GTI markets outside of Europe; 34% of 42 320 total seventh generation of Golf sales were the GTI derivative. The Golf model range was also the best-selling in the A Hatch segment in South Africa last year with a 29,1% segment share.
Volkswagen has digitalised the new Golf GTI and the ignition lock has been replaced by an engine start/stop button (standard equipment), which is notable in that once the doors are opened, it pulses red until the engine is started.
At the front, the wide air intakes, low-positioned standard LED headlights and signature light on the radiator grille are particularly distinctive. The latter is illuminated for the first time by a narrow LED strip, which flows on the left and right into the headlight modules.
The LED headlights feature 22 individual LEDs per headlight matrix signal. Drivers can customise their cars with the optional and sliding turn indicators. At the rear, the roof spoiler, diffuser and two round tailpipes located at the outer sides are striking distinguishing features of the new GTI. The optional panoramic sunroof is controlled using a swiping action.
This is the first generation of Golf GTI to have a completely digitalised interior landscape of displays and controls. The digital displays of the standard InnoVision cockpit and infotainment system start up as soon as the doors are opened.
The conventional controls for the headlights as well as fog lights have been changed to a digital panel. The new Golf GTI features a smaller gear knob as a result of adopting a shift-by-wire system. Swiping actions are also required to change the volume and temperature. Ambient lighting is also a standard feature which gives drivers 30 interior colours to choose from.
The Golf 8 GTI will be the second model in the Volkswagen range to come available with the optional Harmon Kardon sound system with a 12-channel amplifier with 480W output as well as eight speakers, one centre speaker and a subwoofer.
The Golf 8 GTI in South Africa comes in only one derivative. Standard features include; 18-inch Richmond alloy wheels, Lights and Vision Package including high-beam control light assist, Climatronic air-conditioning, heated leather-wrapped multi-function sports steering wheel with touch control and shifting paddles, GTI Vienna leather seats, keyless locking and starting system, Composition Media Radio, multi-colour InnoVision Cockpit, App-Connect, Cruise Control with speed limiter, Park Distance Control, mobile phone interface with inductive charging function as well as 30-colour ambient lighting.
Pricing will be announced closer to the actual launch date.