The eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI will be launched in South Africa soon. First launched at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt 45 years ago, the GTI has become somewhat of an icon on international roads. Of course, as well as know, it’s an extremely popular car in South Africa as well.
The current generation Golf GTI has sold 14 252 units since its launch in South Africa in July 2013, making South Africa one of the biggest Golf GTI markets outside of Europe. 34 percent of 42 320 total seventh generation of Golf sales were the GTI derivative. The Golf model range was also the best-selling in the A Hatch segment in South Africa last year with a 29.1 percent segment share. So, what does the new Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI have in store for us? Let’s take a look at the recently announced specifications:
VW says the GTI’s formula of success is that its DNA has never changed. It still has a clean design, front-wheel drive, the most agile running gear, a powerful petrol engine and insignias like the red stripe in the radiator grille. Of course, everyone loves an upgrade, so Volkswagen has digitalised the new Golf GTI, catapulting it into the future with a multitude of intelligent assistance systems and a powerful and stylish design.
The Golf GTI’s ignition lock has been replaced by an engine start/stop button (standard equipment), which is notable in that once the doors are opened, it pulses red until the engine is started. There are also a few notable additions to the design. Low-positioned standard LED headlights and unmistakable signature light on the radiator grille are particularly distinctive while, at the rear, the roof spoiler, diffuser and two round tailpipes offer yet more striking distinguishing features. Adding to the new digitalised feel is an optional panoramic sunroof, which is controlled using a swiping action.
Digital and innovative
According to VW, this is the first generation of Golf GTI to have a completely digitalised interior landscape of displays and controls. The digital displays of the standard 10.25-inche InnoVision digital display and tough screen infotainment system, which starts up as soon as the doors are opened. The Golf 8 GTI will be the second model in the Volkswagen range to offer the optional Harmon Kardon sound system with a 12-channel amplifier with 480W output as well as eight speakers, one centre speaker and a subwoofer.
The previous three-spoke sports steering wheel has been transformed into a new multi-function leather sports steering wheel with touch controls. What’s more, the conventional controls for the headlights as well as fog lights have been changed to a digital panel. Ambient lighting is also a standard feature that gives drivers 30 interior colours to choose from.
The new Golf GTI also features a smaller gear knob as a result of adopting a shift-by-wire system.
Standard and optional equipment
The Golf 8 GTI in South Africa will only come in one derivative. Standard features include; 18-inch Richmond alloy wheels, Lights and Vision Package including high-beam control light assist, Climatronic air conditioning, heated leather-wrapped multi-function sports steering wheel with touch control and shifting paddles, GTI Vienna leather seats, keyless locking and starting system, Composition Media Radio, multi-colour InnoVision Cockpit, App-Connect, Cruise Control with speed limiter, Park Distance Control, mobile phone interface with inductive charging function as well as 30-colour ambient lighting.
Optional features include; panoramic sunroof, Adaptive chassis control including driving profile selection, Park Assist (parallel parking assistant), Rear Assist with rear-view camera, and Adaptive cruise control with Front Assist and Autonomous Emergency Braking.
The new Golf GTI will be available in three solid paint exterior colours (Pure White, Urano Grey, and Moonstone Grey), four metallic colours (Dolphin Grey, Atlantic Blue, Kings Red and Reflex Silver) and two pearlescent colours (Deep Black Pearl and Oryx White Pearl).
Under the hood
The new GTI’s four-cylinder, 2.0l turbocharged front-wheel drive engine is coupled with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. It takes 6.4 seconds to complete the 0 – 100km/h sprint, offering agility and sportiness with all the electronic bells and whistles you could want.
Pricing and availability
According to VW South Africa, the Golf 8 GTI will be available in the second quarter of 2021. Pricing for the new Golf 8 GTI will be announced closer to the launch date.
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