2021 VW Golf GTI debuts, alongside GTE and GTD models
The eighth-generation 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI has been revealed, with the company’s technical boss claiming that it’s more of a “true GTI” than the outgoing model.
The GTI uses the same upgraded version of the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform as the regular Golf Mk8 that debuted recently, with MacPherson struts at the front and multi-link suspension at the rear. It’s also fitted with a new Vehicle Dynamics Manager which controls the electric differential lock (XDS) and optional adaptive dampers (Dynamic Chassis Control).
The standard version of the new GTI gets all the upgrades fitted to the GTI Performance version of the Mk7 Golf (which was never offered in the Middle East), including s boost in power to 245 hp (from 230 hp) and torque to 400 Nm (from 350 Nm), a limited-slip differential and upgraded brakes.
The GTI can still be had with a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard (where offered), although a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic is the one that will reside in almost all GCC-spec versions when it comes here.
Volkswagen has also reworked the steering, making it more direct to improve both response and feedback.
The GTI will form a GT trio with the new 200 hp hp GTD diesel and 245 hp GTE petrol-electric plug-in hybrid. The designs of the three performance models have been brought into line by way of a unique front bumper with funky lighting, a roof spoiler and big wheels.
While the GTI retains its familiar red styling accents, including for a new illuminated bar running across the front grille, the GTD uses silver and the GTE blue.
The GTI gets twin tailpipes and red brake calipers, with the latter now featuring on the GTD and GTE too. Each model gets 17-inch alloy wheels as standard, while 18-inch and 19-inch versions are also available. As with the regular Golf, there are no longer three-door versions.
All three GT models feature the upgraded electronics and technology introduced on the standard Golf, including several new driver assistance and safety features. Many of the physical buttons and switches inside are replaced by a larger central touchscreen and touch-sensitive panels.
The GTI features the Golf’s top-spec 10-inch infotainment touchscreen as standard, while the GTD and GTE come with the 8.25-inch version but can be upgraded. There is also a 10.25-inch LCD gauge cluster screen.
A new sports steering wheel has been added, while the manual gearlever retains the traditional ‘golf ball’ knob. For the first time, the GTI, GTD and GTE will all be offered with differing varieties of Tartan trim, with the traditional red stitching of the GTI replaced by grey and blue in the GTD and GTE respectively.
Volkswagen will no longer offer a GTI Performance model. A higher-spec version will arrive later this year, but it will receive a new badge, possibly a 296 hp Clubsport. A new all-wheel-drive Golf R will be revealed later this year.
Expect the new model to arrive in UAE and GCC showrooms by early next year at a hefty premium considering prices of the outgoing GTI approaching Dhs 150,000 nowadays.