The eighth-generation VW Golf GTI will launch in South Africa in the second quarter of 2021.
VW has also released its specification sheet to give us a taste of what’s to come.
South Africa is one of the largest GTI markets outside of Europe, according to VW, as 14,252 units of the seventh-generation GTI were sold locally since 2013.
Local pricing for the eighth-generation GTI has not been announced yet, and will be made available closer to the launch date.
The design of the Golf GTI underwent several updates for the eighth generation.
Up front it still has the wide air intakes with a hexagonal pattern, but its LED headlights have been made sharper and thinner.
The red grille line remains distinctive on the GTI range, as well as the signature badging all around the body.
At the rear the spoiler, diffuser, and round tailpipes received an overhaul – and the hot hatch now stands on 18-inch “Richmond” alloy wheels.
The optional extras will cover features such as a sunroof and dynamic turn signals, while customisation is provided through a choice of three solid exterior colours, four metallic colours, and two pearlescent options.
Volkswagen states that this is the first GTI which has a completely digitised interior.
To back this claim, they have fitted a 10.25-inch digital display in place of an analogue instrument cluster, along with a large infotainment screen.
Additionally, controls for the lights have been moved to a digital panel, swiping actions will be required to change volumes and temperatures, and the gear lever has been shrunk significantly thanks to a new “shift-by-wire” system.
Standard interior features then comprise of a heated, leather steering wheel with touch controls; Lights and Vision package with high-beam control; shifter paddles; park distance control; cruise control with speed limiter; and wireless charging pads.
Its GTI branded seats are covered in Vienna leather and the Composition Media System with app connectivity provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionalities through a touchscreen display on the dash.
More features include the standard fitment of a 30-colour ambient lighting system, while an optional Harman/Kardon sound system with 10 speakers can be added.
The VW Golf 8 GTI has been given 11kW more power than its predecessor, and produces 180kW of power and 370Nm of torque from its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine.
This motor is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission that sends power to the front wheels.
The combination allows the Golf 8 GTI to complete the 0-100km/h sprint in 6.4 seconds.
A new feature by the name of Vehicle Dynamics Manager will then coordinate all of the running gear functions to keep the hatchback riding smoothly.