WOLFSBURG - With the reveal of the eighth-generation Golf out the way, Volkswagen is now preparing to unleash the most anticipated version of the upmarket hatchback.

According to Autocar, the new Golf GTI is set to make its grand entrance at the Geneva Motor Show, which opens to the media on March 3.

The UK publication also reports that the new-generation performance hatch will be powered by an updated version of the famed EA888 2-litre turbopetrol motor that powers the current model, and customers can expect more power from all versions.

The ‘base’ Golf GTI will reportedly produce 180kW, which is what the current ‘Performance’ version of the model offers in overseas markets, while a more powerful version of the GTI (possibly called the Clubsport) will be tuned to around 215kW. The latter is expected to boast a 0-100km/h sprint time of under six seconds. 

Although it had been widely reported that the new GTI would have ‘mild hybrid’ electrical assistance, Autocar says these plans have been shelved.

GTI first for South Africans

In the local context, it’s interesting to note that the GTI will be the first version of the Golf 8 family to reach South Africa. The model is expected to hit our shores later in 2020, and will be followed by a Golf 1.4 TSI and, further down the line, the new R version.

The eighth-gen Golf was revealed in October last year and while the styling is evolutionary, it’s a whole new ballgame inside with a fully-digitised, ‘always-online’ wide-screen cabin design, as well as advanced new semi-autonomous driving features.

Virtually all of the displays and controls inside the Golf are now digital, with a new high-mounted touchscreen infotainment system melding seamlessly into the digital instrument cluster. There’s also an advanced new voice control system, while Amazon’s Ask Alexa system has been integrated into the vehicle. Expect to find all that and more in the new GTI’s cabin.

IOL Motoring