Update: A VW spokesperson confirmed to us that Autocar's initial report stands, and the Mk 8 GTI will debut at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show this March.
Ready for the next-generation Golf to hit American shores? Though the states won’t see the base model of Volkswagen’s Mk 8 Golf, higher-performance GTI and R models are confirmed for North America—and now, we might just have dates for their unveilings.
Autocar reports that VW confirmed the GTI, in addition to a diesel-powered GTD, will debut at the 2020 Geneva Auto Show in March. (We’ve also reached out for independent confirmation.) Though the GTI had been rumored to be a hybrid, Autocar writes that the next GTI will have a conventional, combustion powerplant producing up to 287 horsepower in the GTI’s “Clubsport” trim. And that’s just for the GTI; back in December, we learned from VW’s Jost Capito that the highest-tuned versions of the Mk 8 Golf, most likely the R variant, will produce north of 300 horsepower. Make sure those cupholders are empty, folks.
The GTI’s engine will likely be a variant of the corporate EA888 turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder originally developed by Audi. Both base and Clubsport GTIs will also get a bump in torque over the Mk 7 GTIs, based on the numbers Autocar reports, but will carry over the current six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions. If you opt for the Clubsport, expect a 0–62 mph (0–100 km/hr) time under six seconds.
Based on VW’s modular MQB platform, the latest Golf continues to use MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link suspension in the rear, combined with adaptive shock absorbers. Autocar adds that Volkswagen has recalibrated the electrically-assisted power steering with a quicker ratio and more haptic feedback. In addition, the upcoming Golf GTI will only be available as a five-door hatchback.
Expect the usual cosmetic changes as previous GTIs have worn, including dual exhaust tips, red brake calipers, larger front air intakes, a red stripe tucked in the grille, and a bodykit to visually hunker the whole thing to the ground.
Along with the other eighth-gen Golfs, the new GTI will have a larger center touchscreen plus a new digital instrument panel with an optional heads-up display. Dual-clutch equipped cars will have a unique T-shaped gear selector.
Other performance Golfs are in the pipeline, including the even-higher performance R, the diesel-powered GTD, and mild-hybrid GTE. Autocar reports that the GTD will debut alongside the GTI at Geneva, and that the all-wheel-drive Golf R could be introduced at this year’s Goodwood Festival. In addition, Autocar reports that VW insiders have strongly hinted at a possible R Plus model with 350 horsepower.
One thing’s for sure—whenever the first hotted-up Golfs hit U.S. shores, we’ll welcome them with open arms.