Mk 8 Golf GTI will bow at 2020 Geneva Motor Show

2020 VW Golf GTI Brian Williams / Spiedbilde

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.

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Rabbit
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Rabbit Volkswagen

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.

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