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The next-gen Golf GTI is finally here

By Chris Thompson, 27 Feb 2020 News

Volkswagen Mk8 Golf GTI revealed news

New design brings VW’s hot hatch icon into the new decade

Finally, the new 2020 Volkswagen Mk8 Golf GTI can be seen without camouflage ahead of the 2020 Geneva Auto Show.

Its global reveal shows off not only its design but confirms drivetrain specs and details which had previously been rumoured and leaked.

With the fourth evolution of VW’s EA888 turbo 2.0-litre four under the bonnet, the new GTI makes 180kW and 370Nm, mated to a 7-speed DSG. Or… a 6-speed manual ‘box. Rejoice!

Though the GTI chalks up no more power than the final update of the Mk7.5, Volkswagen says its DSG is now a sharper shift-by-wire unit that allows for quicker shifts.

Not much else in the way of mechanical detail is divulged, though suspension is a MacPherson strut setup at the front axle and a multi-link setup at the rear. VW also says the new GTI will debut a system called the Vehicle Dynamics Manager, which oversees the DDC adaptive chassis and the locking differential.

Primarily, the reveal by Volkswagen focuses on the design and features of the Mk8 GTI, sure to be major selling points for the ultimate all-rounder hot hatch – if it is to remain so.

“A car becomes an icon when its design DNA and character remain recognisable for decades,” VW says.

“It is also important for an icon to provide fresh ideas in order to cope with the challenges of our time.

“Just like the Golf GTI. For 44 years, Volkswagen has been reinventing this icon of sporty, compact cars while retaining the original concept – generation after generation.”

The front end retains its recognisable Golf styling but loses a little bit of the sharp aggro nature of the Mk7.5.

It also now features a large lower grille, which incorporates a ‘chequered flag’ style set of fog lights, which VW calls an ‘X’ design.

Its headlights are also joined by a strip light across the front under the bonnet, which is split only by the new ‘slim’ VW logo adorning the upper grille.

At the rear, the Mk8 features a relocated GTI badge, placed directly under the VW badge. That aside, the rear and side of the new GTI is largely recognisable as similar to the previous generation.

Inside, there’s good news for purists. The clark tartan remains a fixture on the upholstery. In terms of its other GTI fixture? No golf ball gear shift for the DSG, but it’s fair to guess the pattern might appear on a manual shifter, however.

The new cockpit is however a huge step-up in terms of driver-focused layout, while keeping much of the same UX familiarity from the Mk7.5.

We’re expecting to see the Mk8 GTI land in Australia before the year’s up, with the VW Mk8 Golf R to follow in early 2021.