Wolfsburg, March 2020. A car becomes an icon when its design DNA and character remain recognisable for decades. It is also important for an icon to provide fresh ideas in order to cope with the challenges of our time. Just like the Golf GTI. For 44 years, Volkswagen has been reinventing this icon of sporty, compact cars while retaining the original concept – generation after generation. The eighth reinterpretation of the Golf GTI is now celebrating its debut. Newly designed and engineered – fully digitalised and networked. A Golf GTI that is fit for the modern era. The Golf Mk1 from 1976 has long evolved into a vehicle family. This was followed in 1982 by the first Golf GTD with a turbocharged diesel engine, and in 2014 by the first Golf GTE to feature plug-in hybrid drive. And so it stands to reason that a new Golf GTD and a new Golf GTE are celebrating their world premières alongside the new Golf GTI. Three Golf variants, three characters, three efficient and clean drive systems – but one design and specification philosophy.
GTI. The new Golf GTI is an agile, raw, efficient and high-tech compact sports car for the digital age – with 180 kW (245 PS).
GTE. With a system output of 180 kW, the new Golf GTE is just as powerful as the Golf GTI. The hybrid drive is designed for sporting performance and combines electrical sustainability and zero-emission distances of around 60 kilometres with a great dynamic performance.
GTD. The new Golf GTD is a real endurance athlete. In this variant an output of 147 kW (200 PS) has been coupled with very long fuel ranges.
Dynamic front end. The design of the new, sporty Golf models embodies unadulterated charisma. The standard LED headlights are positioned low down and form a striking crossbar in conjunction with the radiator grille. Towards the top of the bonnet a narrow line spans the front end – red in the case of the GTI, blue for the GTE and silver for the GTD. All are typical insignia just like the red radiator grille frame on the first Golf GTI. Once the daytime running lights are activated – when the driver approaches with the key (optional) – an LED strip in the headlight mirrors the red, blue or silver line. As standard, the radiator grille is illuminated as a continuation of the LED strip for the first time. This creates the completely new, unmistakable headlight design of the Golf GTI, GTE and GTD. Another striking and unmistakable feature is the typically large, one-piece lower air intake grille in a honeycomb pattern. It is framed on the outside by a black application, with a striking wing-like design on the sides. The new GTI insignia also include the optional fog lights which are now integrated into the air intake grille in an X-shape.
Striking outline. The side section features the eye-catching, standard 17-inch Richmond alloy wheels, unique to the GTI. 18-inch or 19-inch rims are available on request. Painted red: brake calipers of the new, sporty Golf models. The GTI and GTD also carry a signet with the respective lettering on the side of the front wing panel. The GTE does not boast this feature but instead has an extra supply connection on the passenger side for charging the battery. All three models feature wider side skirts sills in black – with a splitter design similar to that found on racing cars. The sills come together to form the front spoiler and the rear diffuser. An individualised spoiler extends the roof line at the very top of the outline. The dominant design element of the side section is the C-pillar, a characteristic element of all versions of the Golf. It visually propels the vehicle body forwards and transposes the iconic graphics of the original Golf and GTI into the modern era.
Superior rear end. The new Golf has a powerful shoulder section and striking rear end design. This also benefits the new, sporty models, which are fitted with LED tail light clusters as standard. The GTI, GTE or GTD lettering is now positioned centrally under the Volkswagen emblem rather than on the driver side as it was before. The roof spoiler is extended rearwards and merges with the black edging around the rear window, making the Golf GTI, GTE and GTD appear even flatter than the less powerful models. At the bottom, the sporty diffuser distinguishes the new versions from the other versions of the series. They are also differentiated by the tailpipes of the exhaust systems – the GTI has one tailpipe on the left and one on the right, the GTD has a double tailpipe on the left, and there is no tailpipe in sight on the GTE.
Dynamic insignia. Ever since the first Golf GTI made its debut, this car has been like a perfectly fitting pair of jeans. Right from the outset, Volkswagen created distinctive, dynamic insignia with the multitude of interior details – the sports steering wheel featuring three silver double spokes and recessed Wolfsburg emblem, the gear knob in the shape of a black golf ball, GTI sports seats in tartan with black side bolsters – all of which are considered classic design pieces.
A nod to the past, a nod to the future. Although Volkswagen is enhancing the digital and networking capabilities of the eighth-generation Golf – and with it the GTI, GTE and GTD – to an unprecedented extent in order to future-proof the range, many of the original insignia can still be found on board. However, the sports steering wheel of yesteryear has been transformed into a new multifunction leather sports steering wheel with touch controls and an optionally integrated Travel Assist button to help the powerful Golf models reach a top speed of 210 km/h while Travel Assist is engaged. The three silver spokes have been retained – in the GTI, the interior of the central spoke has a red finish, while the GTE and GTD have blue and silver finishes respectively. The classic checked pattern of the sports seats is also retained. The new checked design is called Scalepaper. The seams of the grey and black design are red in the GTI, blue in the GTE and light grey in the GTD. Red, blue or black are also used for all decorative seams and edging, depending on the model.
Fit for the modern age. The Innovision Cockpit extends upwards upon opening the doors in the Golf GTI, GTE and GTD. It is a fusion of the top-of-the-range version of the 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit (digital instruments) and the 10-inch navigation system. The visual and functional blend of the two screens creates a new and consistent, digital architecture. The background lighting, which also comes as standard, embeds the displays and all other illuminated interior areas (dash panel, door trim, storage compartment with interface for mobile telephone, footwell) in a spectrum of 30 configurable colours. The Golf GTI, which is equipped with a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard, features a brand new GTI gear knob. The GTI is available with an optional, automatic 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG); the GTD comes exclusively with this DSG. The GTE features a 6-speed DSG developed for hybrid drive. The models equipped with a DSG are generally shift by wire; the DSG gear lever itself has been designed specifically. The functionality of the standard start/stop button for the drive systems of the three sporty Golf models has been customised – once the doors have been opened, it pulses red until the drive system has been started.
Basic equipment. In general, every new Golf is fitted with assist systems including the Lane Assist lane keeping system, Front Assist Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring, XDS electronic differential lock and Car2X (local communication with other vehicles and the traffic infrastructure). Standard digital instruments and an infotainment system to suit the mobile We Connect and We Connect Plus online services and functions that have been integrated here. A multifunction steering wheel, single-zone automatic climate control (Climatronic), the Press & Drive comfort start system, a Bluetooth provision for mobile telephone, LED headlights, LED tail light clusters, LED daytime running lights, LED reading lights and two USB-C ports. This range of equipment is once again extended significantly for GTI, GTE and GTD.
Enhanced equipment. On the exterior, the equipment outlined here is supplemented by 17-inch alloy wheels, a customised front section, a grooved rear diffuser, a standalone roof spoiler, the corresponding model logos, individual tailpipe systems, red brake calipers and sill extensions. The functions include sports running gear (only GTI and GTD; 15 mm lower) and the Keyless Access locking and starting system and associated lighting. In the interior, the top-of-the-range version of the Digital Cockpit (multiple screen configurations) and the 10-inch navigation system merge to form the Innovision Cockpit. The colour and graphics of the Digital Cockpit correspond to the respective model. In many other details, as is the case with the exterior, the Golf GTI, GTE, GTD are also differentiated by the specific colours assigned to the respective drive system – red (GTI), blue (GTE) and silver (GTD). All pedals are made of stainless steel.
GTI with turbocharged petrol engine. The new Golf GTI is powered by a 180 kW (245 PS) 2.0-litre turbocharged injection engine (EA888 evo4). The maximum torque is 370 Nm. The four-cylinder engine is coupled with a 6-speed manual gearbox (MQ350) as standard. A 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DQ381 DSG) is available as an option.
GTE with plug-in hybrid. The plug-in hybrid drive of the Golf GTE essentially consists of a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine (EA211 TSI) with 110 kW (150 PS), the hybrid module with an electric motor (85 kW), a 6-speed DSG (DQ400e) and a new lithium-ion battery. The powertrain delivers a maximum power output of 180 kW (245 PS) and a maximum system torque of 400 Nm. Compared with its predecessor, the all-electric range has increased significantly to now around 60 km. Volkswagen’s engineers have achieved the increase in range by improving the Golf’s aerodynamics and managing to increase the energy content of the battery by 50% to 13 kWh. It can be driven at speeds of up to 130 km/h in all-electric mode. When the battery is sufficiently charged, the Golf GTE always starts in all-electric E-MODE. The drive switches to Hybrid mode if the energy capacity of the battery drops below a certain level or if the speed rises above 130 km/h. In Hybrid mode, the driver has the option of maintaining the state of charge using three symbols on the Infotainment system screen (the equal sign “=”), increasing it (up arrow “Ù”) or reducing it to a defined level (down arrow “Ú”). This makes it possible to drive into an urban destination area under electric power and with zero emissions, even at the end of a longer journey, if so required. Whenever route guidance is active in the navigation system, the battery manager also predictively takes into account road and topographical data to ensure the set battery energy is available when you reach your destination. During this process, battery use is adapted on the basis of the route data in order to achieve an optimum electrical range.
GTD with turbocharged diesel engine. The long-distance sports car features a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine (TDI) with an output of 147 kW (200 PS). The Golf GTD engine (EA288 evo series) generates an impressively high maximum torque of 400 Nm. The TDI already delivers this power at very low engine speeds. As with all the turbocharged diesel engines in the new Golf, the GTD’s drive system is linked to two SCR catalytic converters connected in series (SCR = Selective Catalytic Reduction). This new twin dosing SCR system with dual AdBlue injection greatly reduces nitrogen oxide emissions compared with its predecessor. Volkswagen offers the Golf GTD with a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DQ381 DSG) as standard.
Improved comfort and dynamics. Volkswagen has developed and perfected the running gear of the Golf GTI, GTE and GTD with the combination of a McPherson front axle and a multi-link rear suspension. A new driving dynamics control system known as the Vehicle Dynamics Manager is used for the first time. The system controls both the XDS function and the lateral dynamics components of the regulated dampers (optional DCC). This significantly increases the spread between maximum comfort and maximum dynamics, and the vehicle benefits from significantly sharpened driving dynamics as a result.
DCC adaptive chassis control. DDC adaptive chassis control continuously reacts to the road surface and driving situation while taking account of various elements including steering, braking and acceleration manoeuvres. By means of the set driving profile mode, the driver can influence the reduction in body motion as desired. The required damping is calculated for each wheel and adjusted at the four shock absorbers within fractions of a second. Consequently, DCC always provides the highest level of driving comfort and ensures ideal driving dynamics in combination with the driving dynamics manager. In the latest DCC generation, the vehicle setup can be extended in INDIVIDUAL mode to go beyond the existing range of the fixed COMFORT, ECO and SPORT modes. The driver can accurately set and store their personal driving profile using a digital slider. Beyond the COMFORT setting, the body is “decoupled” from the road surface as much as possible, thus boosting driving comfort. Beyond the SPORT setting, there is an extended setting range with maximum damping for minimised body movements and extremely direct handling for that unadulterated GTI, GTD and GTE feeling.