Mk8 Volkswagen Golf GTI to debut in Geneva in March

Following the debut of the eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf in October last year, the German carmaker will next reveal high-performance versions of the hatchback – the GTI and GTD – in March during the 2020 Geneva Motor Show. The Golf GTI and GTD are two of four “hot” models due to arrive in dealerships before the end of 2020, along with the R and plug-in hybrid GTE models.

According to a report by Autocar UK, the Golf GTI will forgo the switch to full or mild hybrid power as suggested by earlier reports. Instead, an updated version of the EA888 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine from the previous Mk7 Golf GTI will be used, providing around 242 hp and 287 hp, with a bump in torque figures as well.

The latter will replace the Mk7 Golf GTI with the Performance Package, and with Volkswagen’s decision to leave the TCR racing series, it will likely use the “Clubsport” name instead. The EA888 will continue to be paired with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. It is said the more powerful version will have a zero to 100 km/h sprint time of under six seconds, and a top speed of 250 km/h.

As for the car’s chassis, the new Golf GTI will feature MacPherson struts at the front with a multi-link setup in the rear, with adaptive damping control. The electro-mechanical set-up of the outgoing model has been heavily reworked to provide it with added levels of feedback and a more direct ratio. Styling-wise, expect subtle revisions – dual tailpipes, red brake calipers, larger air intakes and a bodykit – to help distinguish it from lesser Golf variants.

Moving on to other models in the pipeline, the Golf R will likely use an even more powerful version of the EA888, with at least 300 hp and all-wheel drive. It’s also rumoured that a range-topping R Plus variant is also being planned, with around 350 hp on tap rather than the previously rumoured 400 hp.

Meanwhile, the GTE, which was announced at the same time as the standard Golf, will come with 242 hp thanks to a combination of a 1.4 litre turbocharged engine and an electric motor. It will be joined by a lesser eHybrid variant with 201 hp, with both using a 13-kWh lithium-ion battery that provides an EV range of approximately 60 km.

Finally, details of the GTD remain largely a mystery for now, but it is said the diesel hot hatch will use a variant of the company’s 2.0 litre turbodiesel with mild hybrid technology. No output figures have been provided yet; the previous GTD made 181 hp and 380 Nm of torque, and the new one should see an improvement.

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