New Mk8 Golf will gain GTI, GTD, GTE and flagship R models next year
Volkswagen will have four hot new Mk8 Golf models in dealers before the end of next year – with the R going on sale a few months after the GTI, diesel GTD and plug-in hybrid GTE.
Sources at the firm suggest that the GTI, caught testing with limited disguise, will be launched at the Geneva motor show in March and go on sale soon after. They also claim the R version will be shown in July, possibly in the UK at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The transformation from regular Golf to GTI appears to be subtle, but tell-tale signs such as the dual-exit tailpipes and red brake calipers give it away as the Ford Focus ST rival.
There is also bodykit that extends around the lower portion of the car, along with a large air intake. The car appears to sit slightly lower to the ground than the standard Mk8 Golf, suggesting a reduced ride height is part of the suspension upgrades. The wheels of this prototype aren’t expected to be offered on the GTI, though.
As Drive-My has previously reported, a reversal of plans means the new GTI will ditch hybrid power in favour of an updated version of the Audi-developed EA888 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine used in the outgoing model. Two power outputs will again be offered: 242bhp and 287bhp. The latter will be dubbed Clubsport, not TCR as first thought, because VW will leave the TCR racing series as part of its plans to end all combustion-engined motorsport.
A performance increase is necessary to ensure the GTI occupies a performance level above the GTE, which, although significantly heavier, puts out 242bhp with a 1.4-litre turbo petrol and an electric motor. Details of the 2020 Golf R, on the other hand, have been kept tightly under wraps, as have those of the GTD. The latter is expected to make use of a 2.0-litre diesel with mild-hybrid tech, but a power output is unconfirmed.
The R is again likely to use a heavily boosted EA888 motor with at least 300bhp in entry-level form mated to all-wheel drive. Insiders suggest that a range-topping R Plus is on the cards with anything up to 350bhp to offer a cheaper alternative to the Mercedes-AMG A45, but that has yet to be confirmed.