Here it is in the flesh, the Vrrphaa legend has returned in 8th generation form and it is undoubtedly looking like a proper GTi. Maybe not as aggressive as the previous Golf 7 GTi, but it still holds its cup in the exterior styling department. The Golf 8 GTi returns with the 2.0 litre turbopetrol 4-cylinder engine which makes more power now at an output of 241 hp (180 kW) and 370 Nm of torque. The 0-100 km/h time is yet to be announced by Volkswagen but expect it to be less than the Golf 7 GTi’s 6.4 seconds time.
As standard, it comes with a 6-Speed manual gearbox but really most GTi buyers are not interested in shifting gears and stomping the clutch pedal. What makes the GTi really nice is the 7-Speed DSG transmission which is still offered on the new one and it’s said to change gears much faster than ever. There is a new mode for driving called Vehicles Driving Manager which is specifically used to alter the way the car drives by configuring the limited slip differential with active dampening to provide a relaxing comfort ride or great handling when driving hard.
Let’s talk about the exterior because there are some major changes to how this GTi looks. The front end is much lower with slim LED headlights coupled with an optional strip LED light. The large portion of the front is the honeycomb grille which now comes with LED fog lights styled in a honeycomb look. The Golf 8 GTi’s standard 17-inch Richmond alloy wheels are a bit disappointing and I believe many buyers will opt to get different wheels in 18-inch and 19-inch form. The rear look is very clean and not too complex. The GTi logo is now centered on the boot, the rear spoiler has been angled down low and as usually you’ll find the twin exhaust tailpipes which you can now upgrade to optional Akrapovic exhaust system without tampering with the warranty.
The interior has some minor changes that should set the GTi apart from it’s normal counterpart. The steering wheel looks sporty, the manual version’s gear knob is the classic golf ball design, the seats have the GTi design language and the pedals are made in aluminium. The new 10.25-inch Innovision digital instrument comes as standard on the new GTi together with the 10-inch infotainment touchscreen. The interior is the most impressive part of the new GTi and should tempt owners of the Golf 7 GTi to consider upgrading. The new Golf 8 GTD also returns with 147 kW of diesel power and looks a bit better with those wheels on.
The new GTi is set to be revealed to the public at the Geneva International Motor Show happening next month and will launch locally at the same time with the new Golf 8 later this year.