Volkswagen launched a redesigned Golf overseas late last year, and while the automaker is yet to reveal whether it's coming to the United States in regular guise, enthusiast versions like the Golf GTI and Golf R are confirmed to be on their way here.
Both performance models have already been spied in prototype form and, at next month's Geneva International Motor Show, the covers will come off the Golf GTI. The reveal of the Golf R is expected to follow in the summer before both models arrive at dealers late in the year as 2021 models.
2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
Ahead of the new GTI's debut, VW has released a teaser sketch that reveals the aggressive front fascia design of the hot hatch. A similar design will feature on the new Golf GTD diesel also bound for Geneva, though don't count on this model ending up in the U.S.
The new GTI is expected to follow a similar performance path to its predecessor, though you can count on a bump in power. The car's 2.0-liter turbo-4 is expected to be rated at a peak 241 hp, matching the output of the Golf GTE plug-in hybrid sold overseas, with drive going to the front wheels either via manual or dual-clutch transmissions. The DCC chassis control system will also be updated, VW has said.
New Volkswagen Golf
While the mechanicals don't look to be changing much, the new GTI, like the rest of the eighth-generation Golf family, will benefit from a lot more tech in the cabin. In addition to a standard digital instrument cluster and large infotainment screen (regular model's interior shown), there will be a multifunction sports steering wheel with touch control, semi-autonomous driver-assist features, and car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication.
We'll have more details soon as the Geneva auto show starts March 3. To learn about some of the other vehicles bound for the Swiss show, head to our dedicated hub.