The GTI and R versions of the Mk 8 VW Golf are to be revealed sooner than expected. Volkswagen recently announced that the VW Golf GTI would be unveiled at the Geneva Auto Expo in March. The crazier Golf R will make its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July.
The announcement comes as a significant step forward for the German car manufacturer. VW has been working on improving its Golf lineup for the past two years. Both the GTI and R are the absolute best that the company has to offer in the form of the VW Golf. Volkswagen has confirmed that both these cars will undergo sales in the US in early 2021.
This comes as good news for fans of hot hatches. There have been a lot of rumours and speculations surrounding the eighth generation VW Golf GTI. The new version is expected to have an upgraded turbocharged 2.0L inline-4 engine that would make upwards of 250 hp, a jump of more than 22 ponies from the current variant. Volkswagen has also confirmed a more aggressive body kit and upgrades to the suspension. Whether or not VW will bring back the iconic golf shifter for their latest iteration of the GTI is yet to be seen.
The VW Type R is even more bonkers. Production of the last generation of the Golf R ended in 2019. It was capable of 288 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque through a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, all of which went to the front wheels through a dual-clutch 7-speed transmission. The 2021 VW Golf R is supposedly even more powerful. It was speculated that this new R would cross the 300 hp-mark, making it the most potent VW Golf in history.
The announcement comes just days after Honda unveiled the latest Type R trim of Honda Civic at the Tokyo Auto Salon. It features quite a similar power and handling configuration to the VW Golf R, with a turbo-4 engine cranking out 306 hp to the front wheels. This has set up a landscape for a future confrontation of both these hot hatches going neck-and-neck shortly.
VW has already unveiled the lower trims of new Mk 8 Golf, with a new hybrid version to be added to the lineup at an undetermined date. The company did confirm that the same 1.4L engine will power the new hybrid Golf as the base hatchback. According to Car and Driver, this engine is supplemented by a 13.4-kWh lithium-ion battery to increase the power output to 242 bhp. Still, it is unclear if the car will hit any Volkswagen showrooms in the US.