Ahead of the Geneva Auto Show the first week of March we get this peek at the GTI version of the new 2021 Golf. What VW is doing with the GTI is to give it a different but subtle change from the regular Golf. The Golf fascia was already a unique departure with the headlights tied into the grille. But the GTI gets its own unique wide lower grille with a light bar running the full width from behind the honeycomb grille work. Besides the unique wide grille and lighting the GTI also sees the trademark red accents back for this eighth-generation VW.
The good news is that the GTI won’t become an electric vehicle. Yet. It instead will get the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder banger from the previous GTI. Two transmissions will be offered with this front-wheel-drive hot hatch. A quick-shift dual-clutch automatic transmission is available with a Porsche-like electronic gear switch. Or you can opt for the six-speed manual transmission. The Travel Assist semi-autonomous highway system will also be available.
The GTI gets plenty of the traditional features we like from earlier Golfs
The signature upright rear end will get a new diffuser that will be featured along with dual exhaust tips. Plaid cloth seats will also make a comeback. A digital instrument cluster with a large infotainment touch screen and leather-wrapped touch-control steering wheel continues the GTI tradition. Car2X tech will warn of traffic ahead, emergency vehicles, and features emergency braking from sensing vehicles ahead braking. Basically it’s car-to-car-to-car communication.
The GTI assisted driving technology will be able to take over a portion of the driving at speeds up to 130 mph. Power figures have not been released but expect that there could be up to 300 hp. Both the GTI and R models will make it here and will offer a pallet of 32 color options. Rumors say the R will pack 325 hp.
A turbodiesel GTD will also be unveiled at Geneva
The new Golf debuted late last year but the GTI is the hot hatch we get excited about. However, there’s more VW news than just the Golf GTI. A turbodiesel GTD will also be under the lights at Geneva. By the end of 2020, there will be others. A plug-in hybrid GTE and also a flagship Golf R will see the light of day. These and more are scheduled to be released between now and 2021.
Because of the changing fortunes for sedans in the US, there is no word yet on exactly if or when the Golf will make it to our shores. We will get the GTI, however. Built-in VW’s hometown of Wolfsburg, Germany, it should hit our shores toward the middle of 2021.