2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI
The next-generation GTI arrives in 2019by Ciprian Florea, on
The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI may still be the most popular hot-hatchback out there, but it’s getting a bit long in the tooth after more than four years on the market. With Ford already working on a new-generation Focus ST, which will be significantly more powerful than the current Golf GTI, Volkswagen needs to roll out a new hatchback really soon. Fortunately, the Germans are already testing the next-generation Golf GTI, which is rumored to break cover sometime in 2019.
Not much is known about the upcoming performance hatchback, but it should borrow many design features seen on recently introduced Volkswagen models, including the sporty Arteon sedan. The company also promises a revolution inside the cabin, including a "total digital environment," according to design chief Klaus Bischoff. Set to use a revised version of the company’s MQB platform, it will also a new engine with power ratings of up to 250 horsepower. Let’s find out more about that in the speculative review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Volkswagen Golf GTI.
2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI
0-60 time:5.9 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:155 mph (Est.)
Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI Exterior
- Arteon-based design
- Longer and wider
- Aggressive stance
- LED lighting system
The GTI package will replace the horizontal slats in the grille with a honeycomb mesh
Although Volkswagen is still using the old body for Golf Mk8 test cars, the hatchback will definitely get the company’s latest design language. We’ve seen it on a range of newly-launched models, including the Arteon sedan that replaced the CC. The Golf will also benefit from a larger front grille, bigger headlamps, and a more aggressive bumper. The GTI package will replace the horizontal slats in the grille with a honeycomb mesh and will add the traditional red stripe on each side of the logo.
Our designer also added C-shaped LED lights on the big, black-painted air vents on each side of the lower grille and a heavily sculpted engine hood. Onto the sides, the upcoming Golf shouldn’t change much, so look for the same traditional hatchback grille. However, it will sport revised mirror caps (likely with a carbon-fiber option), a more muscular beltline, and beefier side skirts. A new set of wheels will round off the look.
Design aside, the new Golf GTI will be a bit longer and wider than its predecessor
The rear section should look very familiar, although Volkswagen will probably redesign the taillights to include new LED lights. More changes will be visible in the bumper, which will gain a new diffuser-like element, hopefully significantly more aggressive than the mundane unit seen on the current GTI. For the first time ever, there will be "Golf" lettering beneath the "VW" badge, similar to the new Arteon.
Design aside, the new Golf GTI will be a bit longer and wider than its predecessor. Not only it will give the hatchback a more planted stance, but it will also increase stability and provide a bit more legroom and elbow room inside the cabin.
Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI Interior
- "Revolutionary" layout
- Fully connected
- Semi-autonomous drive
- More premium features
The Touareg’s 15-inch display is likely to be offered on the more expensive trims
The interior of the upcoming Golf Mk8 remains a mystery with no spy shots to run by, but the latest Polo and Touareg models provide some valuable hints.
Although the Golf won’t be identical to any of the cars mentioned above, it will have similar cues, starting with a much cleaner dashboard with rectangular vents at the corners and in the center stack. I will get a much bigger infotainment screen in the middle, with the Touareg’s 15-inch display likely to be offered on the more expensive trims. An all digital instrument cluster is also on the table. As usual, the redesign will include a new steering wheel, revised seats, new upholstery and materials, and enhanced room for rear passengers.
According to design chief Klaus Bischoff, the upcoming Golf will have a "total digital environment"
On the tech front, Volkswagen promises a "revolution." According to design chief Klaus Bischoff, the upcoming Golf will have a "total digital environment; the only analogue aspect is basically the steering wheel."
Karlheinz Hell, Volkswagen’s small car boss, also said that the upcoming Golf will take the hatchback into a new era: "The next Golf will take Volkswagen into the era of fully connected vehicles with extended autonomous driving functions. It will have more software on board than ever before. It will always be online and its digital cockpit and assistance systems will be the benchmark in terms of connectivity and safety."
Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI Performance
- Updated 2.0-liter four-cylinder
- Mild 48V hybrid system
- Around 270 horsepower
- 0 to 62 mph in less than six seconds
- All-wheel drive
The turbocharged engine will work in conjunction with a 48V mild hybrid system
Official drivetrain details are still under wraps, but we do know that the upcoming Golf GTI will use an updated version of the company’s familiar MQB platform. Word has it that the upgraded underpinnings will help shed up to 70 kg (about 154 pounds) compared to the outgoing model due to use of more lightweight materials. Combined with other weight-saving features, the new Golf GTI could be around 200 pounds lighter than the old model, which will translate into better performance and fuel economy.
Speaking of performance, the GTI will retain its spot between the standard Golf and the performance-rated R model in the lineup. It will also continue to use the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, but the turbocharged unit will work in conjunction with a 48V mild hybrid system. The technology will include engine-off coasting, an integrated starter-motor and generator, as well as electrically driven turbochargers. Output is still a mystery, but the upcoming model should be the most powerful ever built and generate in excess of 250 horsepower.
Volkswagen will probably continue to offer the Performance Package, which should increase the GTI’s output to at least 270 horsepower
With the next-gen Ford Focus ST set to get th RS’ 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine with at least 270 horsepower, the Golf GTI should boasts at least 250 horses in base trim. Volkswagen will probably continue to offer the Performance Package, which should increase the GTI’s output to at least 270 horsepower. An updated all-wheel-drive system will give the hatchback increased stability, traction, and dynamics. Word has it that Volkswagen is working on an electrically driven rear axle for the 4Motion system, but this feature might be offered on the Golf R model only.
Given the extra power, the hybrid setup, and the lighter curb weight, the new Golf GTI should be around a half-second quicker from 0 to 62 mph. The outgoing model needs 6.4 seconds to hit 62 mph, so expect the Mk8 version to get there in 5.9 clicks. Top speed will remain locked at the usual 155 mph.
Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI Pricing
Pricing information is obviously not available at this point, but it’s safe to assume that the redesign will add a premium to the current sticker. With the outgoing GTI priced from $26,415, the Mk8 model could fetch around $28,000 before options. Volkswagen has already confirmed that production of the eighth-generation Golf will start in June 2019, so the GTI model could break cover by the end of 2019.
Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI Competitors
The Fiesta ST has been the Golf GTI’s main rival for many years now and a brand-new model is underway. Ford has already unveiled the new-generation Fiesta, but the ST model has yet to break cover. The outgoing version is already more powerful than the current Golf GTI at 252 horsepower, but word has it that the next-gen model will generate even more power. The latest rumors claim that the ST will use a detuned version of the 2.3-liter EcoBoost mill from the Focus RS, with output around the 270-horsepower mark. Other sources suggest that the engine could be tuned closer to 300 horses in order to fill the gap between the base model and the next-gen, 400-horsepower, hybrid RS model. If this proves to be true, the Focus ST will be hard to beat. But even with 270 horsepower, the ST will need less than six seconds to hit 62 mph Styling-wise, the new Focus looks decidedly more aggressive and the ST will get sportier bumpers front and rear. The latest Focus is already equipped with Ford’s latest tech and more premium features, so the cabin should be competitive against the upcoming Golf GTI. Pricing will probably start around $26,000 in the United States.
Read our speculative review of the 2019 Ford Focus ST.
The i30 N is the newest model in this class and unlike other hot-hatches, it has what it takes to give the Golf GTI and Focus ST a run for their money. Developed by Hyundai’s N performance division based in Europe, the i30 N is surprisingly aggressive on the outside, while the interior boasts sporty seats and a lap timer for track duty. The Korean hatchback draws its juice from a 2.0-liter T-GDI engine offered in two configurations. The Standard Package comes with 246 horsepower and 260 pound-feet, while the Performance Package cranks out 271 horses and the same torque. An overboost function adds eight percent more torque and quicker acceleration. But although the i30 N is just as powerful as the next Focus ST and Golf GTI are expected to be, it will be slower from 0 to 62 mph, with the Performance version rated at 6.1 seconds. Top speed is limited to the same 155 mph. The bad news is that the i30 N isn’t offered in the United States, so the comparison is for European consumers only.
Read our full story on the 2018 Hyundai i30 N.
Granted, the upcoming Volkswagen Golf GTI is a big mystery as of this writing, especially with the regular Golf still under wraps, but rumors suggest that the Germans are preparing the quickest and most advanced GTI ever built. There’s no doubt that the Golf will remain highly popular in this niche, but the competition is getting tougher than ever with the Hyundai i30 N already in dealerships and with a new Ford Focus ST underway. Maybe the highly advance, digital cockpit and the mild hybrid system will make a difference, but we won’t know that until the next Golf GTI breaks cover in 2019.
Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Read more Volkswagen news.