Volkswagen is trying to cover all the bases here

Volkswagen took the time to reveal the new Volkswagen Golf GTI, GTD, and GTE before their official debut at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show. Surely, customers have no reason to complain should they want to get a more performance-focused Golf, because VW is offering a hybrid, a gasoline, and a diesel model as alternatives to various preferences or needs.

How Powerdul Are the 2021 Golf GTI, GTE, and GTD?

2021 Volksagen Golf GTI,GTD, and GTE - What You Need to Know Exterior
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As you’d expect, the quintessential changes to the new 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI, GTE, and GTD lie within the powertrain.

2021 Volksagen Golf GTI,GTD, and GTE - What You Need to Know Exterior
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The GTI gets a 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injected gasoline engine rated at 180 kW (241 horsepower, 250 PS) and 370 Newton-meters of torque - that’s roughly 273 pound-feet of twist. The current GTI packs 228 horsepower.

Power goes to the front wheel via a standard six-speed manual, but there’s also the option of specifying the familiar seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission. We don’t get to know how quick of fast the new Golf GTI is (same goes for the GTE and GTD), but those details should surface once the trio is introduced in Geneva.

2021 Volksagen Golf GTI,GTD, and GTE - What You Need to Know Exterior
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The plug-in-hybrid Golf GTE mixes a 1.4-liter TSI turbocharged gasoline engine good for 110 kW (148 horsepower, 150 PS) and an 85-kW electric motor fed by a 13-kWh Li-ion battery pack. All in all, the powertrain churns out 180 kW (241 horsepower, 250 PS) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of twist channeled through a six-speed DSG transmission.

VW’s literature says that the GTE now has an all-electric range of 60 km (37 miles) thanks to better aerodynamics and a larger battery pack (the previous GTE made do with an 8.7-kWh battery pack, and offered a pure-electric range of around 30 km or 19 miles).

2021 Volksagen Golf GTI,GTD, and GTE - What You Need to Know Exterior
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Last but definitely not least, the Golf GTD is here to state, once again, that diesels aren’t dead. In the GTD, VW’s familiar 2.0-liter, four-cylinder TDI turbodiesel produces 147 kW (197 horsepower, 200 PS) and 400 Newton-meters (295 pound-feet) of torque. The current GTD offers 181 horsepower.

What’s more, the powerplant is slapped with two SCR (selective catalytic reduction) converters coupled with AdBlue injection. The solely transmission available for the Golf GTD is the seven-speed dual-clutch DSG.

How Has the 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI Changed?

2021 Volksagen Golf GTI,GTD, and GTE - What You Need to Know Exterior
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The GTI, GTE, and GTD get a MacPherson front axle suspension doubled by a multi-link configuration in the rear. VW also mentions a new driving dynamics control system (VDM) being used for the first time. It couples with the DCC adaptive chassis control setup that adjusts damping in a matter of fractions of a second by analyzing and responding to steering, braking, and acceleration inputs coming from the driver. Three drive modes are also available, namely Eco, Comfort, and Sport.

What Does the 2021 Golf GTI Look Like?

2021 Volksagen Golf GTI,GTD, and GTE - What You Need to Know Exterior
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The GTI sits on standard 17-inch wheels, but you can get 18-inch and even 19-inch wheels on request. The brake calipers are painted red on all models, and each one gets an extended roofline spoiler that counterbalances the LED taillights. On the exhaust front, the GTI has two pipes (one on each side), the GTD has two pipes grouped together on the left-hand side, while the GTE ditches them entirely - although there has to be some sort of exhaust pipe hidden in the rear bumper, perhaps, since the GTE still uses an internal combustion engine.

2021 Volksagen Golf GTI,GTD, and GTE - What You Need to Know Interior
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On the inside, you’ll do well to spot the three-spoke steering wheel as well as the gear knob shaped as a black golf ball. The Innovision Cockpit setup is present too, with its 10.25-inch instrument cluster and the 10-inch centrally-mounted multimedia screen.

There’s no word on pricing yet, but we’ll keep you posted.

Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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