The Mk8 Volkswagen Golf, which has been spied several times prior, is set to make its world debut later this year in October. However, the hotter Golf GTI variant has proven to be quite an elusive species, that is until now.
Seen here in full camouflage cladding is the Mk8 Golf GTI, complete with what appears to be production LED headlights, front bumper, and LED tail lights. Details on the front bumper can still be distinguished despite the heavy camo – the lower intake features a wide mesh type grille, and the edges of the apron looks set to get air curtains that guide air flow for better aerodynamics.
Round the side, this particular GTI sits on 19-inch wheels derived from the outgoing Golf R, although expect factory items to start from 18-inch units (19s should still be optional). Behind, the Golf GTI retains the familiar dual exhaust look, and it should get a more chiselled bumper. In short, the exterior is shaping up to be quite a looker, and we’re liking what we see.
There are no pictures of the Mk8 Golf GTI’s cabin for now, but official sketches released by Volkswagen show that the hatch will get a dual-screen setup much like that seen on the W177 Mercedes-Benz A-Class. Based on the photo above, the instrument cluster features brand new graphics, so expect GTI-specific dials and highlights to be featured as well.
The adjoining central infotainment display is clearly angled towards the driver, and it also features an all-new user interface that looks more sophisticated than those found in the automaker’s current crop of cars. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto should be standard, too. Interestingly, the bottom section of the bezel seem to feature two touch-sensitive panels for direct control of the climate control. Neat!
Further down, the sketch shows a tiny gear stick (similar in size to that of the 992 Porsche 911) positioned along a sloping centre console, above which is a covered compartment that presumably conceals a wireless smartphone charging tray.
In terms of powertrain, sources reveal that the Mk8 Golf GTI will stick to the recipe that made the Mk7 model successful. That means the Audi-developed EA888 2.0 litre TSI engine should continue propulsion duties, with outputs ranging from around 255 hp to 290 hp for the hotter TCR-badged version. That makes it even more powerful than the Golf GTI Clubsport S which made 261 hp.
For the 290-hp model, the 0-100 km/h sprint time is said to be done in under six seconds, while the top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. Transmission options include a revised six-speed manual gearbox and the much-lauded seven-speed dual-clutch DSG unit. It’s been said that earlier plans to electrify the Golf GTI have been put on hold, following direct instructions from VW Group chairman Herbert Diess.
Besides that, the engineers are also said to put heavy emphasis on steering feel and accuracy. The Mk8 GTI will still get an electro-mechanical setup, albeit tweaked to provide higher levels of feedback and a more direct gearing ratio. Well then, this begs the question: how much more hardcore will the Mk8 Golf R be?