The 2021 Volkswagen GTI Is Here With 241 HP and Sharper Styling
We still don’t know if we’re getting Volkswagen’s eighth-generation standard Golf in America, but we’ve known that an all-new GTI is still headed for our shores. Now, Volkswagen’s revealed the 241-hp hot hatch. Long live the Golf GTI.
As we’ve come to expect from GTI redesigns, the eighth-generation car looks like an evolution of its predecessor. To my eye, it’s sharper, but feel free to make your own determination. The last GTI felt caught between the bubbly design of the Mk 6 Golf and the more angular motif that dominates new VWs, but the Mk 8 Golf fully commits to the brand’s sharper direction.
Powertrain specs are familiar: the new GTI mates a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Power has risen from 228 hp to 241 hp and torque is up 15 lb-ft to 273 lb-ft.
There are adjustable drive modes—including a new configurable Individual mode—that adjust the aggressiveness of the powertrain and the standard XDS electronic differential lock. Suspension settings, however, are fixed. Adaptive dampers will be available on European-market GTIs, but they won’t come stateside. The new GTI also offers a “Travel Assist” button on the steering wheel, allowing it to reach its 130-mph top speed.
And like its mainstream sibling, the GTI gets a lot of tech upgrades. There’s a massive digital instrument cluster that’s now attached to the central infotainment display and a 30-color ambient lighting system. Lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, push-button start, LED lights, and climate control are now standard. Most importantly, plaid seats are still available.
Volkswagen also announced successors to its hybrid and diesel hot hatches, the Golf GTE and GTD, but those won’t make it to the U.S. But we’re happy to at least get another generation of the GTI, especially considering VW is still offering a manual. There’s no word on pricing or release timing, but expect it to reach our shores later this year.
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