• The Mk8 Volkswagen Golf GTI is a subtle evolution of the current Mk7 GTI. It will go on sale in the US toward the end of 2021. Volkswagen
  • Among the styling changes are the new LED foglights, hidden into the hexagonal lower grille. Volkswagen
  • You can always tell a GTI from other Golfs by the exhausts. For a Mk8, there are two, one on each side. Volkswagen
  • Most of the upgrades over the Mk7 are electronic, and these are most noticeable from the interior. There's now a digital main instrument display and a new 10-inch infotainment screen. Volkswagen
  • A little over half of GTI buyers pick the seven-speed DSG transmission, but a six-speed manual will still be available. The plaid print on the seats is a classic GTI touch. Volkswagen
  • Most of the Mk8 GTI's driver aids will be standard equipment.
  • Under the hood is the venerable 2.0L EA888 four-cylinder gasoline engine. Volkswagen

Now that COVID-19 has put paid to traveling anywhere for all but the most essential reasons, driving impressions of Volkswagen's new Golf GTI will remain an indeterminate while away. But VW's engineers and designers are just as capable of conducting a product briefing remotely as they are in person, so we can bring you plenty of technical info on what is now the eighth generation of the archetypal hot hatchback.

It all began in 1975, when some enterprising soul at VW thought to shoehorn a more powerful engine and some uprated suspension bits at the company's then-new Golf hatchback. Front-engined and front-wheel drive, the hatchback Golf itself was considered a risky move inside a company that was known for air-cooled rear-engined machinery. So the GTI was planned as a limited-run variant to give the new car a bit of a halo. Instead, it became a massive sales hit, earning it a permanent place in VW's lineup. And while you (or rather I) might think of Europe as the home of the GTI, apparently the United States and Canada now account for 45 percent of all GTI sales. (Thus, we'll be getting the GTI and the next Golf R but none of the more basic Golfs.)

Yes, there will still be a six-speed manual

The Mk8 GTI is a gentle evolution of the outgoing model, and it uses the same Modularer Querbaukasten, or Modular Transverse Toolkit architecture, as most of the rest of VW's internal combustion-powered range. The styling changes between Mks 7 and 8 are subtle enough that non-car people will probably miss them, but if you're staring at a Golf and you see a lower grille full of hexagons, some of which turn out to be LED foglights, you're looking at a Mk8.

Under the hood, the car uses a turbocharged 2.0L, four-cylinder engine known as the EA888 evo4 to VW nerds, with 241hp (180kW) and 273lb-ft (370Nm) waiting for your right foot. And there's good news for those who like to row their own—a six-speed manual transmission will be available if you don't want the seven-speed dual clutch DSG gearbox. (If I had to pick, I'd say you want the manual with the GTI and the flappy paddles with the Golf R, the Mk8 version of which will be released a little later.) US-spec GTIs will come with 18-inch wheels as standard, with 19-inch wheels as an option, those eRead More – Source

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