VWSA confirms the high-spec package, but not the price, of its eighth-generation hot hatch
Coming soon: Volkswagen's eighth-generation Golf GTI. Picture: SUPPLIED
The battle lines have been drawn and it was BMW SA who threw down the gauntlet with the local launch of its new 128Ti hatch, and not mincing words about exactly what it is targeting: the Volkswagen (VW) Golf GTI.
VW SA has replied, not by launching the GTI, but revealing the details and specifications of its eighth-generation hot hatch, which will go on sale locally in the second quarter of 2021.
The outgoing model has sold 14,252 units here since its arrival in July 2013 and SA is one of the biggest Golf GTI markets outside Europe.
The new GTI continues in its traditional configuration of a 2.0l, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels. Power outputs are 180kW and 370Nm with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. VW SA says the 0-100km/h dash takes 6.4 seconds.
As for the spec, the Golf 8 GTI will come in one derivative only. Standard features will include Climatronic air conditioning; a heated, leather-wrapped, multi-function sports steering wheel with touch control and shifting paddles; and a lights and vision package that includes a high-beam control light assist.
This is the first generation of Golf GTI to have a completely digitalised interior landscape of displays and controls. Picture: SUPPLIED
Also standard will be GTI Vienna leather seats, keyless locking and starting system, Composition Media Radio, a digital instrument panel, App-Connect, cruise control with speed limiter, park distance control, mobile phone interface with inductive charging function, 30-colour ambient lighting and 18-inch Richmond alloy wheels.
The extra-cost options will be a panoramic sunroof, LED Matrix headlights, head-up display, adaptive chassis control, wireless App-Connect and voice control, park assist with rear-view camera, and a 480W eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound system among others.
Visually, the GTI can be perked up with an optional black styling package with black 18-inch Bergamo alloy wheels or 19-inch Adelaide alloy wheels.
The new Golf GTI will be available in three solid paint exterior colours (pure white, Urano grey and moonstone grey), four metallic colours (dolphin grey, Atlantic blue, kings red and reflex silver), and two pearlescent colours (deep black pearl and oryx white pearl).
Digitalisation features heavily in this iteration with its standard Innovision digital cockpit and infotainment system running through a 26cm touchscreen. Controls for the head and fog lights are now in a digital panel
Pricing for the new Golf 8 GTI will be announced closer to the launch date.