Volkswagen Teases The New Golf GTI Ahead Of Its Geneva Debut

A fresh look and a lot more technology will headline this new GTI

Several spy shots of the upcoming Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk8 surfaced since the standard Golf made its debut last year. Now, though, the company itself confirmed the new Golf GTI will debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show in March, and published this sketch of the new model’s design on social media Thursday.

As you’d expect, the Golf GTI Mk8 looks much like what we’d already seen in the standard model. This time, though, there’s an optional light bar that runs across the grille just below the GTI’s iconic red stripe. the new GTI sports an all-new front-end design, with LED daytime running lights that wrap around the outer beam on each headlight assembly. To that, VW added a few more distinct touches. The five-piece LED fog lights and black trim around the lower bumper set the new GTI apart from its predecessors.

What about the powertrain?

Volkswagen didn’t specifically mention the new Golf GTI powertrain, other than to say it will still be turbocharged. Beyond that, they said its power will “exceed expectations”. That’s nice and vague, and while some of us may expect a thousand horsepower and rocket thrusters akin to Tesla’s upcoming Roadster, let’s simmer down a bit. The GTI’s design has been nothing if not evolutionary over the past decade or so. To that end, we don’t expect the new model to make way more power than the current generation.

What we do expect is a similar 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that we’ve had for quite a few years. The current generation GTI manages 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, so it’s reasonable to expect a healthy bump over that. It really depends on where Volkswagen plans to position the new Golf R, as well. Giving the GTI something like 280 horsepower to compete directly with the Hyundai Veloster N and Honda Civic Type R would make sense, but we’ll have to see what unfolds in Geneva. VW did say the new Golf GTI would use the latest generation adaptive (DCC) suspension.

Inside, the upcoming Golf GTI Mk8 will use a “fully digitized” interior. That means the old analog gauges will give way to Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit instrument cluster, as well as a 10-inch infotainment display. The new GTI will even use the company’s new semi-autonomous “Travel Assist” system. That will use car-to-car communications technology to manage acceleration, braking and steering up to 210 km/h (130 mph).