Heels & Horsepower Magazine

The new Volkswagen Golf GTI

Fasten your seatbelt and get ready for the VW Golf 8 GTI

The eighth generation Volkswagen Golf GTI will be launched in South Africa in the second quarter of 2021.

Launched at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt 45 years ago, South Africa is one of the biggest Golf GTI markets outside of Europe with 34% of the total seventh generation of Golf sales being the GTI derivative. 

The Golf model range was also the best-selling in the A Hatch segment in South Africa last year with a 29.1% segment share. The current generation Golf GTI has sold 14 252 units since its launch in South Africa in July 2013.

Unmistakably GTI

The GTI’s formula for success is that its DNA has never changed. It still has a clean design, front-wheel drive, an agile running gear, a powerful petrol engine and insignias like the red stripe in the radiator grille. 

At the front, the wide air intakes, low-positioned standard LED headlights and unmistakable signature light on the radiator grille are particularly distinctive. The latter is illuminated for the first time by a narrow LED strip, which flows on the left and right into the headlight modules. The LED headlights feature 22 individual LEDs per headlight matrix signal. Drivers can customise their cars with the optional and sliding turn indicators. 

At the rear, the roof spoiler, diffuser and two round tailpipes located at the outer sides are striking distinguishing features of the new GTI. 

Digital and innovative
  1. The Golf GTI’s ignition lock has been replaced by an engine start/stop button (standard equipment), which is notable in that once the doors are opened, it pulses red until the engine is started.
  2. This is the first generation of Golf GTI to have a completely digitalised interior landscape of displays and controls. 
  3. The digital displays of the standard InnoVision cockpit and infotainment system start up as soon as the doors are opened. 
  4. The previous three-spoke sports steering wheel has been transformed into a new multi-function leather sports steering wheel with touch controls. 
  5. The interior is optimised through the standard InnoVision Cockpit (digital display) which is 10.25 inches wide. 
  6. The conventional controls for the headlights as well as fog lights have been changed to a digital panel. 
  7. The new Golf GTI features a smaller gear knob as a result of adopting a shift-by-wire system. 
  8. Swiping actions are also required to change the volume and temperature. 
  9. Ambient lighting is also a standard feature which gives drivers 30 interior colours to choose from.
  10. The Golf 8 GTI will be the second model in the Volkswagen range to come available with the optional Harmon Kardon sound system with a 12-channel amplifier with 480W output as well as eight speakers, one centre speaker and a subwoofer.
Standard and optional equipment

The Golf 8 GTI in South Africa only comes in one derivative. Standard features include; 18-inch Richmond alloy wheels, Lights and Vision Package including high-beam control light assist, Climatronic air conditioning, heated leather-wrapped multi-function sports steering wheel with touch control and shifting paddles, GTI Vienna leather seats, keyless locking and starting system, Composition Media Radio, multi-colour InnoVision Cockpit, App-Connect, Cruise Control with speed limiter, Park Distance Control, mobile phone interface with inductive charging function as well as 30-colour ambient lighting.

Optional features include; panoramic sunroof, mechanically swivelling trailer hitch, IQ Light: LED Matrix Headlights, Black Styling Package with black 18-inch Bergamo alloy wheels, Head-up Display, Adaptive chassis control including driving profile selection, smokers package, 19-inch Adelaide alloy wheels, Harmon Kardon sound system, Discover Pro Radio (Satellite Navigation, USB, Wireless App-Connect and Voice Control), Park Assist (parallel parking assistant), Rear Assist with rear view camera, Blind spot monitor (Rear Traffic Alert and Lane Assist including Electronically Folding Mirrors), Travel Assist (Lane Assist with Adaptive Cruise Control) and Adaptive cruise control with Front Assist and Autonomous Emergency Braking.

The new Golf GTI will be available in three solid paint exterior colours (Pure White, Urano Grey, and Moonstone Grey), four metallic colours (Dolphin Grey, Atlantic Blue, Kings Red and Reflex Silver) and two pearlescent colours (Deep Black Pearl and Oryx White Pearl).

Networked and with active driving dynamics. 

The iconic Golf has been given 11kW more power than its predecessor. The 2.0l turbocharged front-wheel drive engine now develops 180kW and a torque of 370Nm. The four-cylinder engine is coupled with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. It takes 6.4 seconds to complete the 0 – 100km/h sprint.

Pricing for the new Golf 8 GTI will be announced closer to the launch date.

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