The New 242bhp Mk8 VW Golf GTI Is Pleasantly Unsurprising
The new VW Golf GTI has been revealed, and it isn’t in any way surprising. We mean that as a compliment – the worst thing VW could have possibly done is fiddled with the recipe, so it’s a relief to see that we’re seeing the usual blend of a reasonably powerful inline-four petrol engine, lightly tweaked suspension and a six-speed manual gearbox.
The powerplant in question is an evolution of VW Group’s extensively used EA888 2.0-litre turbo unit, here making 242bhp. That matches the output of both the new GTE and the old GTI Performance while representing a 15bhp increase over the standard version of the Mk7.5 GTI.
Performance figures haven’t been revealed yet, but we’re expecting the 0-62mph time to be roughly similar to the GTI Performance at around 6.2 seconds, with the top speed no doubt electronically limited at 155mph.
While it seems VW won’t be producing a Performance version this time around, the VAQ locking differential it came with is expected to be offered as an option, along with adaptive dampers.
As with the last GTI, there’s not a whole lot to visually separate it from the simultaneously revealed Golf GTD nor the GTE which was unveiled late last year. It has the same front bumper design with “strikingly arranged” lights that blend into the honeycomb lower grille, and a light bar that stretches between the headlamps.
Look closer, though, and you will see the telltale GTI red stripe just above that bar, a theme continued through the light clusters. The rear bumper design is unchanged, meanwhile, but the GTI is given away by its two exhaust pipes that exit either side.
The inside isn’t all that different from the rest of the Golf range either, save for the inevitable inclusion of tartan ‘Clark’ chequered seats. A 10.25-inch display is used for the instrument cluster, while just to the right, there’s a 10-inch touchscreen on infotainment duties. With the latter, it’s possible to fine-tune the (where fitted) adaptive dampers using a sliding scale.
Prefer something more hardcore? A TCR version is in the works and should be revealed at some point in 2020.
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