New 2020 Volkswagen GTI teased confirmed for Geneva

All-new Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk8 officially teased for the first time following last month's leaks of rear styling

It’s been officially confirmed that the eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI will be launched on 3 March at the Geneva Motor Show.

Teasing a single picture of its frontal styling, the all-new Golf GTI, that should be on sale by this summer, features similar styling to the also teased diesel-powered Golf GTD, including its huge lower air intake that packages five individual LED light elements within the hexagonal grille.

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The difference, compared with the GTD, is it stays true to our exclusive image, and features the GTI’s trademark red stripe that’s positioned just above the diesel’s solid white LED light bar.

Claimed to have been created to be a “high tech sports car for the digital age”, under the bonnet, VW says the power delivery of the GTI’s turbo engine will “exceed expectations”, while the Ford Focus ST-rival should offer improved ride and handling thanks to its next-gen DCC adaptive dampers.

Little more has been revealed, other than inside the cabin the VW hot hatch’s famous chequered seat covers, that can be traced back to the original 1976 GTI, live on in the fast eighth-generation Golf.

Luckily, despite little being revealed by the official teaser we already know plenty about what’s set to be the fastest Golf GTI yet.

We’ve also have seen an undisguised picture of the Golf GTI’s rear styling that features a redesigned rear bumper, new alloy wheels and new rear spoiler.

The leaked image reveals that the rear-end styling of the production-ready Golf GTI doesn’t stray too far from our exclusive render, sporting the same twin-exit exhaust system, and a similar rear bumper. This spied GTI also wears an enormous tailgate spoiler, which we expect will be an optional extra.

Volkswagen can’t afford to get the new GTI wrong, because it’s a consistently strong seller in the UK. Of the 182,000 Golfs sold here in the past three years, nearly 10 percent were GTIs. As such, the rest of the car’s styling will stick to the old model’s tried-and-tested recipe, with a set of larger alloy wheels, lower side skirts and a new boot spoiler.

For the same reason, Volkswagen will extend its line-up of performance-focused Golfs. A recently leaked internal document on Instagram confirmed the new GTE plug-in hybrid will pack 242bhp, while a new touring car-inspired GTI TCR will become a regular fixture in the Golf Mk8 range with 296bhp.

Engine-wise, Volkswagen considered fitting the GTI with a performance-based mild-hybrid system to strengthen the company’s push for electrification, but it’s now understood that the Mk8 variant will use the same formula championed by the Mk7 model. This will set the hot Golf apart from its Volkswagen Group stablemates – such as the next-generation Skoda Octavia vRS and Cupra Leon, both of which will switch to hybrid power.

Therefore, the new Golf GTI is expected to use a development of Volkswagen’s existing turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, codenamed EA888.

Because the new GTE plug-in hybrid already matches the outgoing GTI’s output of 242bhp, Volkswagen will increase the conventionally powered car’s performance so it can better compete with more powerful rivals such as the Honda Civic Type R and Renault Megane R.S. The same leaked internal document confirmed entry-level model will offer a GTE-matching 242bhp.

Both the standard GTI and the GTI TCR will use the same chassis and suspension set-up, which comprises MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link system at the rear. The GTI TCR will be offered with a mechanical limited-slip differential, while the entry model will make do with VW’s electronic diff. As before, a six-speed manual gearbox will be offered, with the option of a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

One significant difference between the new GTI and the old one is the Mk8 will be available as a five-door only. VW’s stalwart has not been immune to declining sales of three-door variants – indeed, that style of GTI had already been dropped in some regions – but that configuration has now been removed from the line-up entirely.

We shouldn’t have too long to wait for the Mk8 GTI. We expect it will make its public debut during late spring, with the first UK deliveries arriving by autumn. There will be only a mild increase in price, so the regular non-Performance edition should cost from around £29,000.

Do you think the new Volkswagen Golf GTI will be the best hot hatch money can buy? Let us know your thoughts below…

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