New Golf GTI starts at £33,460 20 | 10 | 2020

    THE EIGHTH-GENERATION of the iconic VW Golf GTI is now on-sale across the UK. Prices start from £33,460 with the six-speed manual gearbox, which has been newly-developed for this generation. The seven-speed dual clutch automatic version costs an extra 1500 quid. (Related: 2020 VW Golf Estate)

    Externally the newcomer remains cleverly understated. Yes it has a bodykit and small hatch-lid spoiler, but they’re hardly more aggressive than regular members of the Golf line-up. Thankfully, this time round VW has re-incorporated some trademark GTI touches into the design, in addition to some new design flourishes. (Related: First official look at VW ID.4 design)

    The GTI’s classic red pinstripe is present and correct at the front. The headlights are linked by a full-width lighting strip lining the car’s nose, and sitting below is a new front bumper with a large honeycomb-style grille. Contained within that are two LED foglights in a chequered flag pattern. (Related: 2020 VW Golf prices and trims)


    Fitted with 18in alloys as standard, buyers can opt for larger 19in wheels. Down the side of the new GTI there are wider sills, plus at the rear there’s still dual exhausts. And for the first time, the GTI lettering sits right beneath the VW badge, in the middle of the bootlid.


    Inside the cabin, it’s pretty much the same as the rest of the Mk8 Golf range, with the addition of one or two bespoke GTI applications. Tartan checked upholstery returns on the standard fit sports seats; but with a twist. The pattern is colour-coded across the GTI/GTE/GTD family, with red stripes in the GTI, but blue in the plug-in hybrid GTE and light grey in the GTD diesel. These colour themes are repeated throughout all three models. (Related: VW e-up! prices and spec)


    There’s also a new flat-bottomed steering wheel with GTI lettering and red detailing on the bottom spoke. Behind the steering wheel sits a standard 10.25-inch digital instrument panel, while the centre of the dashboard is occupied by an 8.25-inch touchscreen display. A 10in screen will be an option. There’s also a new GTI-specific gearknob on six-speed manual version; but sadly it’s not the distinct “golf ball” design of previous generations.


    The latest Golf GTI comes heavily-specced as standard, with those 18in alloys, plus LED Matrix headlights and the LED foglights. Keyless entry and three-zone climate control are also included.

    Safety also plays a big part, with the new GTI having Travel Assist (a combination of lane-keeping and active cruise control systems that enable semi-autonomous driving), Side Assist and Emergency Assist (which can bring the car to a safe halt if the driver is unresponsive), and lane change assist, all part of the standard kit.


    Power — as with the previous GTI — comes from a 2.0-litre TSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine that sends its 242bhp and 370Nm of torque to the front wheels. In its quickest form, when mated to the DSG ‘box — which has been optimized for this Golf generation with a new shift-by-wire system — it’ll cover 0-62mph in 6.2secs, and carry on to a max of 155mph.


    Depending on spec and gearbox, the WLTP testing figures state that the Golf GTI returns between 36.7mpg and 38.2mpg. CO2 emissions range from 168-174g/km.

    Related: VW reveals 341-mile range ID.3

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    Jim McGill


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