The Volkswagen GTI is, without a doubt, the brand’s most iconic hot-hatchback. The original GTI arrived back in the mid-1970s as a performance-oriented version of the Golf. Over the last five decades, Volkswagen has invested billions in ensuring that its hot-hatch remains the industry standard. Since the MK7 generation of the GTI arrived in the United States in 2014, it’s been a top seller. The new MK8 generation has already gone on sale in Europe, giving us a good clue about how much it’ll cost when it arrives in the U.S.
The 2021 Volkswagen GTI starts at €37,607 in Europe
The Volkswagen GTI has already gone on sale in Europe as a 2021 model. Despite this, the U.S. market will not receive the hot-hatch until the end of 2021 as a 2022 model. According to Volkswagen, the 2021 GTI is already available in Germany with a base price of €37,607 or $44,164 at current exchange rates. Don’t be frightened by the inflated price tag as the U.S. models usually cost significantly less than their European counterparts.
The previous generation of the GTI went on sale in Germany in 2013 as a 2014 model. The MK7 generation carried a base price of €28,350 or $33,293 at current exchange rates. When the previous generation arrived in the U.S. as a 2015 model, it had a base price of $25,215, or over $3,000 less than the 2020 model’s $28,595 base price. Given the significant price increase for the MK7 generation, it’s reasonable to expect the same for the MK8.
When it finally reaches the United States, the 2022 Volkswagen GTI could carry a starting price of no less than $30,000. If we apply the same $8,000 price difference as with the previous generation, the base price could be as high as $35,000. It must be noted that given the lack of official pricing from VW, all of the figures discussed in this article are pure speculation.
If the base model could be $35,000, how much would it be fully loaded?
The highest trim-level currently available for the 2020 Volkswagen GTI in the United States is the Autobahn, for $36,495. Tick all option boxes, and the Autobahn’s price quickly climbs to just over $40,000. If the price increase from the MK7 to the MK8 remains consistent, a fully loaded GTI could cost anywhere from $45,000 to $50,000.
Let’s not forget that the GTI is not the ultimate version of the Volkswagen Golf. The yet to be released Golf R could also receive a significant price increase. The base model Golf R starts at $40,395 in the United States. Given the potential price increases we’ve already looked at, the Golf R could come eerily close to the $50,000 mark.
Here’s what’s new in the 2022 model
Now that we’ve covered how much it could cost, let’s discuss what you get for the cash. For starters, the MK8 Volkswagen GTI has a completely re-designed exterior with new LED taillights and headlights. Inside, the changes are drastic, with the new GTI adopting a completely new dashboard layout. In the automatic transmission-equipped models, the traditional gear selector is gone, and instead, there is a tiny, almost switch-like selector like in the new Porsche 911.
Under the hood, the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine carries over from the previous generation. In this application, the powerplant produces 245 hp and 237 lb-ft of torque. Other notable improvements include a stiffer suspension, lighter subframe, and an all-new driver-focused infotainment screen. Despite the significant upgrades, if these prices are accurate, then the era of the affordable GTI could be over.