Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI meets Mother City in new pics and video
Cape Town - The performance hatch that everyone has been waiting for has arrived in South Africa, but you won’t be able to buy one until later in the year.
Instead, the first Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI to dock on local shores is a left-hand-drive car that was brought into the country to take advantage of the Western Cape’s beautiful landscapes in a promotional video and photo album for the brand’s various multimedia channels.
The eighth-generation Golf GTI also got to meet up with its first-generation ancestor at the Killarney International Raceway in the video that’s embedded below.
But will it have the same driver-focused spirit as the original? Only time will tell, but Volkswagen has certainly aimed for that with the latest generation.
As previously reported, the new Golf GTI is powered by an updated version of the familiar EA888 2-litre turbopetrol engine, with the newcomer pushing out 180kW and 370Nm, which is an 11kW and 20Nm improvement over its predecessor. Knowing VW, that is just the beginning of the story however, with more potent versions - possibly with as much as 220kW - set to make their debut in the not-too-distant future.
In Europe the GTI is available with a good old fashioned six-speed manual gearbox as well as the more popular DSG dual-clutch option, but at this stage it’s unclear whether South Africans will be able to choose the manual option.
The gen-eight GTI, like its GTD and GTE cousins, receives a new driving dynamics system called the Vehicle Dynamics Manager, which controls both the XDS electronic limited slip diff function and the lateral dynamics components of the DCC adaptive dampers, when optionally fitted.
Like its predecessor, the new GTI is not trying to be shouty in the way it looks, but it does come with a number of distinctive design features. These include a large honeycomb lower air intake with X-shaped foglights, an illuminated upper grill strip, wider sills, a larger rear diffuser and 17-inch Richmond alloys. That, of course, won’t be big enough for many customers, which is why VW will also offer 18” and 19” rim options.
The cabin has been fully digitised, with a 26cm instrument screen and 25.4cm central infotainment system, and occupants sit on newly designed sports seats with integrated headrests.
Watch this space for more information on the new Volkswagen Golf GTI when it becomes available.