New VW Golf GTI MK8 will arrive next year as a 2022 model
8th-generation Golf gets a significant bump in power and various drive modes
A six-speed manual gearbox will still be offered on the 2022 Volkswagen GTI MK8
Unveiled virtually at the last Geneva Motor Show, the new VW Golf GTI MK8 will launch in Europe later this year before arriving in North America next year as a 2022 model. Significantly more powerful, the new GTI will also be more comfortable and more capable around a track. We got the inside scoop today from the Golf’s Product Manager, Megan Closset.
“We are very excited to see this new GTI come to North America where it almost half of its sales take place”, Closset said.
The Volkswagen GTI is indeed a staple on North American roads. Roughly 45 percent of GTI sales happen this side of the pond which explains why the GTI will return to our continent despite lingering doubt about the future of the Volkswagen Golf hatchback in North America. Canada may get it, but the United States won’t. There, the GTI and Golf R will be the only variants offered.
Two things become clear when listening to Volkswagen engineers and PMs talk about the new GTI. This MK8 generation will be a lot faster, and it will be a lot more refined. Volkswagen is definitely pushing the GTI upmarket with a fully-digital interior, a unique visual signature upfront with distinctive LED headlights and fog lights. This will be the first GTI to feature available 19-inch wheels and IQ.Drive advanced safety technologies will also be offered. Think adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and prevention, automatic braking and the like.
Compared to the MK7 GTI, VW set out to improve daily drivability, cornering, stability and precision, grip, and vehicle response in the MK8 generation. The daily drivability part is ensured by the improved interior with a slightly different plaid design, an iconic feature of the GTI. Leather seats will surely be offered as an option. You can see the difference in design below.
As for the rest, the MK8 Golf’s chassis, steering, and suspension have all been improved.
Improved Track Performance
The new VW GTI gets a bump in performance and power. There’s still a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine powering the GTI, but power increases to 242 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque compared to 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque for the MK7 GTI. Power is still sent to the front-wheels only through either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed dual-clutch 7-speed gearbox with a shifter that’s eerily similar to the one in the new 992 Porsche 911. A front differential with electronically controlled limited-slip differential are standard to make sure power is distributed efficiently.
The steering has been improved with new software to improve comfort and shorten manoeuvres. It takes just 2.1 times lock to lock behind the wheel of the GTI.
The suspension is lighter and slightly stiffer by 5 percent up front and 15 percent in the back.
The biggest change with the new MK8 GTI, however, are the drive modes. Each mode adjusts the front differential, dampers, and limited-slip differential. Push it all the way to the right in Sport and VW says you’ll enjoy quite a bit more action than in past GTI models. They talked about drifting a couple of times in the presentation, but we wouldn’t go as far as saying the GTI has a drift mode. We will say that we can’t wait to see just how serious the sportiest mode in the GTI actually is. We’re guessing it will be significantly edgier than the current MK7 GTI.
And that’s kind of the point of the 2022 Volkswagen GTI. Edgier in performance, more comfortable when you want it to be, and slightly more luxurious and refined.