Only a couple of months old, the new Golf range will soon be bolstered with more powerful versions.Picture: SUPPLIED
Only a couple of months old, the new Golf range will soon be bolstered with more powerful versions.Picture: SUPPLIED

It’s only been a couple of months since the international unveiling of the eighth-generation Golf, but Volkswagen is already getting set to launch the hot GTI version.

VW has confirmed that the car will have its first public outing at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and the new-generation hot hatch will be powered by a more powerful incarnation of its familiar 2.0l turbo engine. It is expected to be available with two power outputs — 183kW and 215kW — and possibly also a 48V mild hybrid system to improve fuel economy though VW hasn’t confirmed this.

The top speed is likely to be the usual governed 250km/h while the 0-100km/h sprint should take place in under six seconds.

Firmed-up suspension, a lower ride height and wider tyres will also distinguish the speedy GTI from regular Golfs. Drive will be to the front wheels via a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch auto gearbox.

Twin exhaust pipes and red brake calipers will be some of the cosmetic trimmings identifying the go-faster Golf.

VW expects to launch three additional Golf models this year, including the GTD high-performance diesel, the GTE plug-in hybrid and the high-performance, all-wheel drive Golf R.

The Mk 8 Golf was launched late in 2019 as a huge step forward from the seventh-generation car, with more hi-tech and driver appeal. The chassis has been updated for a cushier ride and offers optional adaptive damping, along with variable steering.

Its driver assistance systems include adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and autonomous emergency braking to deliver “hands-free” driving at up to 210km/h.

The interior has been modernised with ambient lighting and an all-digital infotainment system with advanced voice control.

The new generation Golf arrives in SA late in 2020.