South Africa is a VW-mad nation. Spend any amount of time on social media and that much is clear. With that in mind the VW Golf GTI Mk8 debut has been one of the most anticipated of the year. Delays caused by the worldwide pandemic meant that the latest of the Golf GTI family has just now been introduced to the local market. While we were hoping to get behind the wheel of the newcomer, recent escalation in Covid-19 numbers has put a dent in that plan, for now anyway.
Volkswagen has retained the recipe that has made the GTI such an approachable and usable performance machine. The hatchback for the masses retains a 2,0-litre inline four cylinder engine, as has been the case since the Mk5.
The turbocharged motor is mounted transversely between the front wheels. The latest evolution of the direct-injection engine develops a healthy 180 kW of power and offers peak torque of 370 N.m. The Golf GTI Mk8 debut will not include a manual-fitted GTI Mk8 into the local market. Drivers will have to select gears via a seven-speed dual clutch automated transmission without the use of a clutch pedal. Mk8 GTI is said to take 6,4 seconds to sprint from rest to 100 km/h.
Among the list of standard items owners can expect if they buy a new GTI include 18-inch Richmond alloy wheels, a roof spoiler, diffuser and a lights and vision package including high-beam control light assist.
Standard equipment in the cabin will include keyless access and engine start/stop functionality, completely digital displays, a three-spoke sports steering wheel with touch controls as well as a touchscreen infotainment system. Other items includes in the list price are adjustable ambient lighting climate-controlled air conditioning, leather seats, cruise control with speed limiter, parking sensors and mobile phone interface with wireless charging function.
Sprinkles on top
If you want to personalise your new GTI, buyers can choose from many optional items. A multi-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system, a panoramic sunroof, mechanically swiveling tow hitch, LED Matrix headlights, black 18-inch Bergamo or 19-inch Adelaide alloy wheels, a heads-up display, adaptive dampers, parallel parking assistant, rear view camera, blind spot monitor, and adaptive cruise control with front assist and autonomous emergency braking are all on the options list.
R669 300 available from September 1