The Golf GTI will now be joined by the new hybrid GTE and diesel GTD siblings, and all get performance and aesthetic boosts.
Featuring a noticeable downward stare, the new Golf GTI makes an appearance as the eighth generation of the legendary hot hatch. With the first-generation Golf GTI Mark 1 debuting in 1976, later generations have enjoyed a loyal fanbase and consistent popularity. The GTI wasn’t the only variant to get upgraded and is now joined by refreshed GTE and GTD models as well. Volkswagen states, “Three Golf variants, three characters, three efficient and clean drive systems—but one design philosophy.”
GTI: The new Golf GTI is an agile, raw, efficient and a high-tech compact sports car for the digital age with 245 horsepower (180 kW).
GTE: Matching the GTI with 245 hp, the new Golf GTE is just as powerful. The hybrid drivetrain is designed for sporting performance and combines electrical sustainability and a zero-emissions range of around 37 miles with great dynamic performance.
GTD: The new Golf GTD is a real endurance athlete, with an output of 200 hp coupled with a very long range between refueling.
The new Golf GTI comes equipped with a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine pumping out 245 horsepower and 273 ft.-lbs. of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but a seven-speed automatic is available.
The hybrid GTE comes with a 1.4L turbo engine producing 150 hp and a 114 hp electric motor, and VW says these two combined produces 245 horsepower together. The all-electric range has been increased to 37 miles and the GTE can reach speeds up to 81 mph in all-electric mode.
The diesel GTD is outfitted with a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine producing 200 hp and 295 ft.-lb. of torque. Upgraded catalytic converters reduce emissions, and the seven-speed automatic transmission comes standard.
On the exterior, the obvious changes occur at the front end, with that downward glare giving an intimidating look. The front grill and headlights have been re-imagined. Towards the top of the hood, a narrow line spans the front end—red in the case of the GTI, blue for the GTE and silver for the GTD. When the driver approaches the car with the key, a strip in the headlights will illuminate in that designated color as well. A spoiler and diffuser have been added to the rear end, completing an all-around design refreshment. The wheels on the GTI are exclusive, but we’re not sure how we feel about the look of the rims.
Inside, the steering wheel has been redesigned, giving it an ergonomic and sportier feel. A new checkered design has been added to the sport seats called Scalepaper. Background lighting is standard and comes in a spectrum of 30 configurable colors.
Overall, the redesign of the Golf GTI looks very tasteful inside and out. The only knock I have against it are those GTI rims, I think they’re a bit much for the car. Other than that, the eighth generation Golf GTI looks to continue the family tree of excellence.