A new generation of the Volkswagen Golf, the nameplate’s eighth, is just around the corner and this means we should be in for new versions of the sporty GTI and high-performance Golf R, too.
This week the first prototype for the GTI was spotted putting in some laps at the Nürburgring. VW engineers were pushing the car hard, as one of the shots shows a wheel in the air. It was taken at the smaller of the two Karussell hairpin turns.
The redesigned Golf range utilizes an updated version of the current generation’s MQB platform. The updated platform is expected to benefit from reduced weight and other fuel-saving features like a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. There will also be new electronic goodies including a digital dash, permanent Internet connection, and advanced driver aids.
The GTI should match the current generation’s 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 and augment this with the aforementioned mild-hybrid system. The system consists of a belt-driven electric motor-generator that can recover energy during braking and reuse this for starting the engine during stop-start driving, providing a torque boost, and allowing the car to coast without consuming any fuel.
2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI spy shots – Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
Drive will be to the front wheels only and peak output should come in close to 300 horsepower, which matches the output of the current Golf R. In comparison, the current GTI comes with only 220 hp. Transmission options will include a 6-speed manual and possibly a 7-speed dual-clutch unit. As for the next Golf R, there are rumors it will offer close to 400 hp.
Signature GTI elements are all present on the prototype, including a honeycomb mesh pattern covering the front intakes, a dual-tip exhaust system, and uprated wheels, tires and brakes. You can bet that the interior will also feature the signature tartan cloth on the seats.
The redesigned Golf is scheduled for a reveal in October. The GTI’s reveal should follow in 2020.
Sadly, there are rumors that the regular Golf models won’t be sold in the United States, likely due to production of the new range exclusively taking place at VW’s main plant in Wolfsburg, Germany. The current Golf is sourced from Mexico. The good news is that we’re still expected to receive the GTI and Golf R.