Volkswagen has announced details of the first three performance editions of the new Mark 8 Golf.
In keeping with previous generations the iconic GTI model is joined by a high performance GTE hybrid and diesel-powered GTD.
Externally, the three GT models all feature body kit enhancements over standard Golfs. A deep honeycomb intake and widened front bumper with integrated fog lights in an X pattern mark them out from the front, with an illuminated strip running across the top of the color-coded grille. Widened side sills, a rear diffuser and roof spoiler help give the cars a more aggressive look, with 17-inch alloys as standard and up to 19s as options.
Maintaining links to historic GTIs, manual GTI models get a golf ball-style gear knob and all three feature sports seats with tartan upholstery, and a silver-trimmed three-spoke steering wheel. Upholstery and trim carry on the colour coding, with red details for the GTI, blue for the GTE and silver for the GTD.
As range-toppers all three cars feature the most advanced Innovision Cockpit with a 10-inch central touchscreen including all VW’s latest infotainment systems, and a 10.25-inch configurable digital cockpit instrument display.
Drivetrain and chassis
Each of the three models offers a different drivetrain for different drivers’ needs.
The core GTI model uses a turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol engine to produce 242bhp and 272lb/ft, up from 228bhp and 258lb/ft. This can be specified with a six-speed manual or optionl seven-speed dual clutch transmission.
As before, the GTE uses a plug-in hybrid system to offer electric-only motoring alongside a performance element. The 148bhp 1.6 turbo petrol combines with an 85kW electric motor for a combined 242bhp and 295lb/ft, delivered via six-speed DSG auto box. The new GTE’s battery is 50 per cent larger than the previous one’s, allowing for up to 37 miles of driving in pure electric mode. As with most PHEVs the driver can choose whether to use the battery’s energy or save it for later and when the sat nav is active, the battery manager can take into account road and topographical data to adapt battery use and ensure the set battery energy is available when drivers reach their destination.
Described as a long-distance sports car, the GTD continues with a 2.0-litre turbo diesel and a standard seven-speed DSG gearbox. In the new model the four-cylinder engine produces 197bhp and 295lb/ft, making it the most powerful diesel Golf VW has produced, up from 181bhp in the Mk7 GTD.
The GTI and GTD feature sports suspension lowered by 1.5cm over the standard car and all three variants get an XDS electronic differential. Dynamic chassis control with active damping and selectable drive modes is an optional extra.
Along with the sporty bodykit, standard 17-inch alloys and red brake calipers, all Golf GT variants get the Innovision Cockpit with internet connectivity, smartphone mirroring, Bluetooth, automatic climate control, keyless entry and start, full LED lighting, lane keep assist, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection and vehicle-to-X communication.
Prices and release dates are still to be confirmed.