Agile drive, the running gear of dreams, unmistakable design, perfect ergonomics, unadulterated driving pleasure – that’s the DNA of a true sports car. At Volkswagen, this is represented by three letters: GTI. The eighth generation of the sporty Golf derivate is now on the way. The new Golf GTI is more digital, networked, more sharply designed and more active in motion than ever before. Its turbocharged engine generates 180 kW (245 PS). The new Vehicle Dynamics Manager intelligently manages the electromechanical running gear systems. Maximum dynamism, maximum comfort – Golf GTI combines both.
Perfect front-wheel drive
The eighth Golf GTI generation reflects front-wheel drive’s new status quo. The new Vehicle Dynamics Manager plays a decisive part here. “This higher-level control system centrally coordinates all electromechanical running gear functions,” explains Karsten Schebsdat, Head of Driving Dynamics, Steering and Control Systems. “Thanks to the combination of new running gear setup plus front-axle locking differential and Vehicle Dynamics Manager we were able to elevate the Golf GTI’s outstanding overall performance to an even higher level. This applies all the more if the DCC running gear featuring a new software application and adjustable dampers is also on board.”
GTI drivers can select their very own setup using the standard driving profile selection feature and the optional adaptive DCC running gear. The sharper driving dynamics properties guarantee an even more accurate driving experience: understeer, a typical characteristic of front-wheel drive vehicles whereby the vehicle’s front wheels tend to lose grip through quick corners, has in effect been eliminated.
Design combines superior, sporty character and functionality
The new design lives up to the tangibly enhanced dynamism. Klaus Bischoff, Head of the Volkswagen Group Design department: “The new Golf GTI boasts a very low, visual centre of gravity which we achieved through the wide air intakes at the front and the striking shoulder line. This superior, sporty character gives aesthetic expression to the vehicle’s potential.”
Standard LED headlights have been arranged low down. These are optionally available as IQ.LIGHT – LED matrix headlights. They form a striking crossbar in conjunction with the radiator grille. The signature, red GTI line towards the top of the bonnet stretches across the front section. For the very first time, the radiator grille can be illuminated by a slim LED strip that extends into the headlight modules’ LED daytime running lights on the left and right – an unmistakable light signature. From the side, standard Richmond 17-inch alloy wheels perfectly match the vehicle’s image. At the rear, a GTI roof spoiler that extends significantly towards the rear boosts the downforce at the rear axle. Down below, the sporty diffuser distinguishes the new edition of this icon from the other versions of the product line with smaller engines. In keeping with the GTI tradition, the new model’s exhaust system has one round tailpipe each on the left and the right.
Digital interior systems meet classic GTI tartan
Back in 1976 Volkswagen already created an unmistakable interior style in the first ever Golf GTI: this flair has been retained in the new version, with its enhanced digital capabilities and typical GTI details. The Golf GTI no longer features an ignition lock, having been replaced by an Engine Start/Stop button as standard. As a completely new feature, once the doors have been opened, the button pulses red until the GTI engine is started. The three-spoke sports steering wheel of yesteryear has been transformed into a new multifunction leather sports steering wheel with touch controls and an optional Travel Assist button to help the Golf GTI reach a top speed of 210 km/h while Travel Assist is engaged. The three silver spokes have been retained – in the GTI the centre spoke has been upgraded with a red interior. GTI insignia also include the new interpretation of the tartan pattern (Scalepaper) on the sports seats, which are also a new development.
The digital displays start up as soon as the doors are opened. It’s a fusion of the standard Digital Cockpit (new: individually enabled GTI design with rev counter in the centre) and the Infotainment system. Composition, featuring an 8.25-inch screen, is installed in this vehicle as standard while the 10-inch Discover Pro system is available as an optional extra for the most advanced expansion package. Regardless of which Infotainment system is on board the Golf GTI, the visual and functional fusion of systems creates a new and consistent digital architecture. The background lighting, which comes as standard, bathes the displays and many other illuminated interior areas in a spectrum of 30 configurable colors.