2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI

2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI

2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI

2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI

2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI

2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI

2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI

The Volkswagen Golf GTI is considered an icon around the world. Its handling characteristics are highly dynamic and its design is unmistakeable. Launched at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt in September 1975, the first Golf GTI was young and wild. As of the summer of 1976 it stormed into an automotive category that hadn't even existed until that moment - compact sports cars with front-wheel drive. 5,000 GTI units had been planned. The new vehicle immediately became an icon because the affordable VW Golf GTI turned the automotive order upside down by breaking into the expensive sports cars segment and bringing great driving dynamics to the masses. Consequently a total of 461,690 Golf GTI Mk1 rolled off the production lines. The first Golf GTI has long since become a timeless classic. With six successors to date, it has become the world's most successful compact sports car. More than 2.3 million Golf GTI cars had been produced by the end of 2019. A true phenomenon. However, revolutionary ideas require evolutionary development. The first Volkswagen Golf GTI's DNA lives on to this day in the agile front-wheel drive, sporty running gear, perfect ergonomics and authentic design. Some 45 years after the first GTI's world première, Volkswagen is now launching the eighth generation. The first Golf GTI of the digital age will be a brand new, networked and fully-fledged sports car.

Intelligently networked electronics

The eighth Golf GTI is also the most digital GTI of all time. Its entire electronic architecture has been created from scratch. And that changes everything. The new generation of software and hardware is tangible inside and when driving the vehicle. On the interior, drivers have access to a digitally networked world of displays and controls. This enables the driver to customise the visual look and technology of their Volkswagen Golf GTI more intuitively and in greater detail than ever before. The driver can decide on functions including the colour range of the background lighting, the individual configuration of the Infotainment system, the Digital Cockpit and the engine sound - they also have a greater influence on their Golf GTI's handling characteristics than previously.

Bespoke driving dynamics

The new Vehicle Dynamics Manager control system makes its debut in the Golf GTI, and it certainly shows its full potential. The Vehicle Dynamics Manager controls the electronic XDS differential lock as well as the lateral dynamics ratio of the optionally controlled damping system (DCC) that forms part of the new GTI running gear setup. Drivers can customise their setup using the standard driving mode selection feature and the incrementally adjustable DCC running gear. Electromechanically adjustable running gear systems once again significantly enhance the balance between maximum dynamics and the highest levels of comfort. In this process, sharper driving dynamics guarantee a completely new and unadulterated driving experience as the eighth Golf GTI handles extremely accurately and is agile to drive despite its unrivalled long-distance comfort. For example, running gear engineers have in effect entirely eliminated understeer, a typical characteristic of front-wheel drive vehicles whereby the vehicle's front wheels tend to lose grip through quick corners. The new Volkswagen Golf GTI races through corners extremely neutrally, even at high speeds on race tracks, and also accelerates out of corners without any loss of traction.

Performance engine becomes GTI standard

The new Golf GTI is powered by the latest evolutionary stage of the EA888 turbocharged engine series, the evo4. The 2.0-litre turbocharged direct injection engine (TSI) delivers 180 kW/245 PS and a maximum torque of 370 Nm. The maximum torque is available from 1,600 to 4,300 rpm. At the market launch, the TSI has been combined with a fast-shifting 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG). The vehicle's top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.

Exterior GTI features

Compared with its predecessor the new Golf GTI has become lower, more elongated and dynamic. Designers created each body part from scratch and worked with aerodynamicists to perfectly hone the vehicle in the wind tunnel. The drag coefficient (Cd) of the basic model dropped from 0.3 to 0.275. The aerodynamics have also been improved by a range of individual measures. These include Cd-optimised exterior mirrors, aerodynamic corners and a bespoke GTI roof spoiler, extensive underbody panelling as well as aerodynamically optimised features in the wheel housing liners (displacement elements at front, spoiler at rear). The new sports car also features a range of traditional and completely new exterior GTI features. The red strip in the radiator grille is imperative for a GTI. This strip originates from the first GTI generation in which it completely framed the plastic radiator grille. Today this red strip stretches across the vehicle's entire front above the radiator grille and merges with the wings. For the first time the red GTI strip is refined by a parallel LED crossbar at the bottom. In each case, this LED crossbar stretches from the outside of the standard LED headlights to the VW badge arranged in the centre of the radiator grille. This gives the Golf GTI a new and unmistakeable light signature. The bottom section of the front panel also features GTI-specific design with the typical, black, honeycomb air intake. LED fog lights designed in a brand new X formation are available as an optional extra. Other exterior GTI characteristics include the front spoiler, side sills and rear diffuser frame, forming an all-round design unit. The 17-inch Richmond alloy wheels that come as standard have also been designed exclusively for the new Golf GTI. The exhaust system's tailpipes, arranged to the left and right of the rear diffuser, as well as chrome/red GTI badges on the front wings, the tailgate and on the radiator grille are also specific to the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Interior GTI features

Interior highlights include new sports seats with integrated head restraints that are reminiscent of the first Golf GTI thanks to their special ergonomics, red stitching and a tartan Scalepaper style fabric on the seat and backrest areas. It goes without saying that the new multifunction sports steering wheel has been individually designed with a red appliqué and the GTI badge. Another typical Golf GTI feature is the honeycomb pattern on the dash panel and door trim. The new engine Start/Stop button comes as standard in the Golf GTI. Once the doors have been opened, it pulses red until the engine has been started. User experience designers have also developed a new GTI graphics layout for the standard Digital Cockpit. It can be opened using the new View button on the steering wheel. It is made up of a combination of three round instruments: the rev counter with GTI logo in the centre surrounded by one round instrument each on the left and right. These can be individually assigned, for instance to show the engine's boost pressure or the current power output.

Golf Mk8 - general standard equipment

Every new Golf is fitted with assist systems such as the Lane Assist lane keeping system, Autonomous Emergency Braking Front Assist with Pedestrian and Cyclist Monitoring, XDS electronic differential lock and also Car2X (local communication with other vehicles and the traffic infrastructure). In the interior the Digital Cockpit and standard 8.25-inch Composition infotainment system have been digitalised and integrated into a network, providing We Connect and We Connect Plus online services and functions. Other standard features include a multifunction steering wheel, single-zone automatic climate control, the Press & Drive comfort start system, a Bluetooth provision for mobile telephone, LED headlights, LED tail light clusters, LED daytime running lights, LED reading lights and two USB-C ports. This range of equipment has been extended significantly for the GTI.

Golf GTI Mk8 - standard equipment in detail

On the exterior, the equipment is supplemented by 17-inch alloy wheels, a custom front section, a rear diffuser with grained texture, a unique roof spoiler, the corresponding model logos, individual tailpipes, red brake calipers and sill extensions. The functions include sports running gear (lowered by 15 mm), a front-axle locking differential, sound actuator and the Keyless Access locking and starting system. All pedals are made of stainless steel.

GTI with tilting panoramic sunroof

For the Golf Mk8, Volkswagen has developed a new tilting panoramic sunroof and it goes without saying that it is also available for the VW Golf GTI. The roof is opened and closed using an intuitive touch slider at the front of the headliner. The new panoramic sunroof has a new full-glass appearance with far fewer joints and a 5% larger glazed area. In order to prevent turbulence and noise at high speeds, the open roof can be set to close slightly as the car accelerates.

Design of the new Golf GTI

The design of the new Volkswagen Golf GTI embodies sporty charisma. The GTI has become faster, more efficient and safer in terms of its driving dynamics thanks to superlative aerodynamics (cd = 0.275). The standard LED headlights are positioned low down; they optionally form a striking crossbar in conjunction with the radiator grille. A slim, red GTI line towards the top of the bonnet now stretches across the front section. An LED strip in the headlight mirrors the red line when the daytime running lights are activated - or when the driver approaches with the key. As an optional extra, the radiator grille can now be illuminated as a continuation of the LED strip for the first time. This creates a completely new, unmistakable headlight design. Another striking and unmistakable feature is the large, single-piece lower air intake grille in typical GTI honeycomb pattern. It is framed on the outside by a black appliqué, with a striking wing-like design on the sides. The new GTI insignia also include the optional fog lights which have now been integrated into the air intake grille in an X formation.

The IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights in detail

Using 22 LEDs in each headlight matrix module, ten different, partly interactive light functions are activated and projected onto the road surface. These functions are dipped beam, main beam, cornering light, poor weather light, motorway light, dynamic cornering light, sign glare control, city light, partial main beam and travel mode (mode for left-hand traffic). A further feature is the sweeping turn signal function of the IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights.

Striking outline

The 17-inch Richmond alloy wheels fitted as standard catch the eye from a side view. These GTI wheels are optionally also available in an 18-inch version. The range of wheels additionally includes further 17, 18 and 19-inch alloy wheels. Red brake calipers always form part of the standard equipment. On the side of the front wing the GTI also features a signet consisting of the three iconic letters G, T and I. A bespoke spoiler extends the roof line at the very top of the vehicle silhouette. The design element that stands out on the side is the traditional C-pillar, a feature shared by both the standard Golf and its GTI variant. It visually propels the vehicle body forwards and transposes the iconic graphics of the original GTI into the modern era.

Superior rear end

As outlined, the new Golf has a powerful shoulder section and a strong rear end design. This element can also be found on the Golf GTI. The GTI lettering is now positioned centrally under the new Volkswagen emblem rather than on the driver side as it was before. The Golf GTI appears to be even flatter than less powerful Golf models thanks to the roof spoiler that extends significantly towards the rear (painted in the vehicle colour at the top, glossy black at the bottom). Down below, the sporty diffuser distinguishes the new edition of this icon from the other versions of the product line with smaller engines. In keeping with GTI tradition, the new model's exhaust system has one tailpipe on the left and one on the right.

The colours of the Golf GTI

The new Volkswagen Golf GTI will be available in various non-metallic paints, metallic shades and with pearl-effect paintwork as well as one premium paintwork variant (mother-of-pearl effect). The new colours for the Golf GTI include Kings Red metallic. This new, red shade pays tribute to the classic Mars red Golf GTI paintwork, which was used in 1976 as the variant for the first generation of the sports car icon.

Dynamic insignia

Ever since the first Golf GTI made its debut, this car has been like a perfectly fitting pair of jeans. Right from the outset, Volkswagen created distinctive, unmistakeable GTI insignia with the multitude of interior details - the sports steering wheel featuring three silver double spokes and recessed Wolfsburg emblem on the impact absorbing element, the gear knob in the shape of a black golf ball, GTI sports seats in tartan with black side bolsters - all of which have long since become classic design elements.

A nod to the past, a nod to the future

Although Volkswagen is enhancing the digital and networking capabilities of the eighth-generation Golf - and with it the GTI - to an unprecedented extent in order to future-proof the range, many of the original insignia can still be found on board. However, the sports steering wheel of yesteryear has been transformed into a new multifunction leather sports steering wheel with touch controls and an optional Travel Assist button to help the powerful Golf reach a top speed of 210 km/h while Travel Assist is engaged. The three silver spokes have been retained - in the GTI the centre spoke has been upgraded with a red interior. The classic checked pattern of the new sports seats development is also a must. The tartan design is now called Scalepaper (featuring red seams with grey and black tartan). Red is also used for all decorative seams and edging.

Fit for the modern age

The Volkswagen Golf GTI's digital displays start up as soon as the doors are opened. They are a fusion of the standard Digital Cockpit (digital instruments) and the Infotainment system. Composition, featuring an 8.25-inch screen, is installed in this vehicle as standard while the 10-inch Discover Pro system is available as an optional extra for the most advanced expansion package. If Discover Pro has been installed in the vehicle, it merges with the Digital Cockpit to form the Innovision Cockpit, offering further enhanced functionality. Regardless of which Infotainment system is on board the Golf GTI, the visual and functional fusion of systems creates a new and consistent digital architecture. Background lighting, which comes as standard, embeds the displays and all other illuminated interior areas (dash panel, door trim, storage compartment with interface for mobile telephone, footwell) in a spectrum of 30 configurable colours. The GTI gear knob was specifically designed for the standard, manual six-speed gearbox. The new Golf GTI is optionally also available with an automatic 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG). The functionality of the standard Engine Start/Stop button has been customised so that once the doors have been opened, it pulses red until the 245 PS TSI engine has been started.

Engine of the new Golf GTI

The latest evolutionary stage of the EA888 TSI engine is used in the Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk8: the evo4 generation. The direct injection engine develops its maximum power of 180 kW (245 PS) in an engine speed range from 5,000 to 6,500 rpm. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a capacity of 1,984 cc provides a maximum torque of 370 Nm. This superior value is available between 1,600 and 4,300 rpm. At the market launch, the new turbocharged engine has been combined with an automatic 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG). The new Golf GTI boasts a top speed of 250 km/h (electronically limited); equipped with DSG it completes the traditional sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in around 6.3 seconds.

Euro 6d-ISC-FCM

A 245 PS TSI engine was also offered in the Performance version of the predecessor to the new Golf GTI. This unit still belonged to the 3rd generation of the EA888 engine series. The next-generation EA888 evo4 now integrated in the new GTI has been enhanced in numerous details in order to reduce emissions even further and optimise power development. The measures include new fuel injectors, an increase in the injection pressure from 200 to 350 bar as well as improvements in terms of internal friction and acoustics. As already described, it has been possible to increase the engine speed range with maximum torque; the new Volkswagen Golf GTI therefore has noticeably more tractive power. In addition, a petrol particulate filter and a higher-volume catalytic converter reduce emissions. The new Golf GTI complies with the latest and most stringent Euro 6d-ISC-FCM emission standard.

Running gear for the new Golf GTI

The wishbone bearings, springs and buffer stops on the front axle have been reconfigured, as have the damping hydraulics. Its weight has also been cut by three kilograms thanks to a new aluminium subframe optimised to provide maximum rigidity. The front axle spring rate has been increased by five percent in comparison to the Golf GTI Mk7.

Modifications to the rear axle

The rear axle also features a new wishbone bearing and spring setup. The auxiliary springs have also been reconfigured. The damping bearings are also new. As is the case for the front axle, the rear axle also features new damping hydraulics. the spring rate at the rear axle has been increased by 15 percent compared with the Golf GTI Mk7.

New Vehicle Dynamics Manager

The Vehicle Dynamics Manager coordinates and activates the functions of ESP with electronic limited slip differential as well as the lateral dynamic components of the optional electronically controlled shock absorbers (DCC) during every driving manoeuvre. In this process, adapting the individual wheel damping (200 times a second) guarantees particularly agile and accurate handling. Running gear engineers have introduced a new technical package to entirely eliminate understeer, a typical characteristic of front-wheel drive vehicles whereby the vehicle's front wheels lose grip in quick corners. The Volkswagen Golf GTI races through corners extremely neutrally, even at suitably high speeds on race tracks, and also accelerates out of corners without any loss of traction. This is due in part to the fact that the locking torque of the front-axle locking differential can be significantly increased in Sport mode. Talking of race tracks, it is possible to adapt the ESC intervention in two stages. In ESC Sport mode the ESC thresholds and ASR slip thresholds are increased to reduce the intensity of interventions. In ESC Off mode, ambitious drivers can additionally deactivate ESC altogether. However, Front Assist and Swerve Assist reactivate ESC in emergencies.

Front-axle locking differential

As was previously the case in the Golf GTI Performance and the Golf GTI TCR (213 kW/290 PS), Volkswagen is now equipping the new Golf GTI with an electronically controlled front-axle locking differential as standard. Compared with fully mechanically operated differential locks, the system in the Volkswagen Golf GTI offers benefits including a variable degree of intervention depending on and ESC, EDS and XDS+ functions. This makes it possible to completely avoid negative influences on steering precision, as is the case with mechanical locking differentials. Thanks to a multi-plate clutch, the locking differential optimises grip and handling in fast corners, thus enhancing the performance and ultimately providing additional driving pleasure. The front-axle locking differential eliminates front-wheel drive vehicles' disadvantages in relation to grip.

Adaptive chassis control (DCC)

Adaptive chassis control (DCC) continuously reacts to the road surface and driving situation while taking account of various elements including steering, braking and acceleration manoeuvres. For the very first time, the DCC running gear's lateral dynamic components in the new Golf GTI are coordinated and then further optimised by the Vehicle Dynamics Manager. By means of the set driving profile mode, the driver can influence the reduction in body motion as desired. The required damping is calculated for each wheel and adjusted at the four shock absorbers within fractions of a second. This ensures that DCC always provides the highest level of driving comfort and ideal driving dynamics in conjunction with the Vehicle Dynamics Manager. In the latest DCC generation, the vehicle setup can be extended in INDIVIDUAL mode to go beyond the existing range of the fixed COMFORT, ECO and SPORT modes. The driver can accurately set and store their personal driving profile using a digital slider. Beyond the COMFORT setting, the body is "decoupled" from the road surface as much as possible, thus boosting driving comfort. Beyond SPORT mode, there is an extended setting range with maximum damping for minimised body movements and extremely direct vehicle handling for that unbridled GTI feeling.

Progressive steering

Progressive steering is installed as standard in the new Golf GTI. This system has also been enhanced - running gear engineers set up the steering ratio more directly while applying new software algorithms and a new software application. How progressive steering works: conventional steering systems operate on the basis of a fixed gear ratio. However, the progressive steering in the Golf GTI applies a progressive gear ratio. This significantly reduces the effort required to steer when manoeuvring and parking. On winding country roads and when turning off, the driver will notice added levels of dynamism thanks to the more direct setup. It also means that the driver does not have to change their hand position as frequently. It takes a mere 2.1 turns of the steering wheel to turn it from stop to stop in the new Volkswagen Golf GTI. In terms of technology, progressive steering is essentially differentiated from the basic steering system by variable steering rack and pinion gearing as well as a more powerful electric motor. In contrast to systems with fixed steering ratio, which are always forced to compromise between driving dynamics and comfort, the gearing of the steering rack is considerably modified functionally using the steering stroke. Result: the transition between indirect steering response in the central range (driving straight ahead) and direct steering response in the event of larger steering wheel turn angles has been set up progressively to enable a considerably more agile steering response in situations demanding driving dynamics.

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