2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI: prices, specs and release date

New Mk8 Volkswagen Golf GTI is available to order now, starting from £33,460

  • Manual or automatic gearboxes
  • Features revised styling and new interior technology
  • Power remains unchanged at 242bhp

The new 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI is now on sale. Prices start from £33,460 for cars equipped with a six-speed manual, while opting for the quick-shifting seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox adds £1,500 to the price.

It renews its rivalry with the Ford Focus ST, Hyundai i30 N and Skoda Octavia vRS, while the plug-in hybrid Golf GTE will compete against the new Cupra Leon. The GTE is slightly more expensive than the GTI, at £35,960, but can manage 32 miles of electric-only driving.

Prices, specifications and release date

The eighth generation of VW’s iconic hot hatch is the most hi-tech version to date, so it’s not surprising that the price has crept up a bit compared to the last GTI. Once again, it’s slightly more expensive than the Focus ST and i30 N, but the car’s lineage and premium badge should mean there’s no shortage of potential buyers.

Not only does the GTI get a sporty makeover compared with the standard Volkswagen Golf, it also comes with a long equipment list. All UK cars get 18-inch alloy wheels, matrix LED headlights, keyless entry, three-zone climate control and scrolling indicators.

At launch, the Golf GTI will only be available in standard guise, with a more powerful 296bhp GTI Clubsport model arriving later this year with more aggressive styling and an extra track-specific driving mode. 

Engines, fuel economy and performance

Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 242bhp - an identical power figure to the old model. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, with the option of a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic. An electronic limited-slip differential can also be specified, which helps to improve traction during cornering.

VW has confirmed that the eighth-generation Golf GTI is capable of 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds (6.2 seconds with the DSG) and a top speed of 155mph, which is identical to the outgoing car. While efficiency figures have yet to be confirmed, estimates suggest the new car will be capable of up to 40mpg.

The new GTI can also be specced with VW’s ‘Dynamic Chassis Control’ system with electronically adjustable suspension. Drivers will be able to pick from three core driving modes called ‘Eco,’ ‘Comfort’, ‘Sport’, which soften or sharpen the car’s driving dynamics depending on the chosen mode. The car’s setup can also be tailored to the driver’s preferences via a fourth ‘Individual’ mode.

Styling

At the front, the new GTI features a more angular bumper with red contrast detailing, a honeycomb lower grille and unique looking x-shaped fog lights to give it a more aggressive look. LED headlights and daytime running lights are standard, and you’ll be able to choose an LED lightbar that spans the full width of the radiator grille from the options list.

At the rear, the car features standard LED lights, a new rear spoiler and rear diffuser, and a twin exhaust. The tailgate also features a centrally mounted GTI emblem, along with matching badges on the front grille and wings. The car’s lower side sills are painted black, which is contrasted by matching detailing on the lower sections of the front and rear bumpers.

As standard, 18-inch alloy wheels are fitted with red brake calipers. Larger 19-inch alloy wheels are available on the options list. The car also sits 15mm lower than the standard Golf.

Interior and technology

Inside, the new Golf GTI combines the traditional and the modern. Signature GTI design features such as tartan seat upholstery and the golf ball gear knob have been updated for the new model, while a flat-bottomed leather-trimmed steering wheel comes with touch controls.

All of the interior tech from the standard Golf has been carried over to the GTI, with a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10-inch infotainment screen equipped with VW’s ‘Discover Pro’ sat nav. Ambient interior lighting is standard, boasting 30 different colours including a GTI-specific mode.

Tech includes Car2X networking functionality, which gives the car the ability to communicate with other moving cars for live traffic information. Other tech features lifted wholesale from the Mk8 Golf hatchback will include Amazon Alexa voice assistance, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Safety technology and driver assistance systems

Safety tech is also carried over from the standard Golf and includes lane assist and autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, which can automatically apply the brakes if a hazard is detected.

VW has also confirmed that the new GTI will have ‘Travel Assist’, which is essentially a combination of adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist so that the car can effectively drive itself on the motorway. Laws in the UK mean you’ll still need your hands on the steering wheel.

Practicality

The GTI will only be offered in a five-door hatchback form; there’s no three-door or estate in the pipeline. Practicality will be very similar to the standard car, with improved rear interior space over the old model. Boot space has yet to be confirmed but it should match the standard Golf with 380 litres of capacity.

Read our review of the new Volkswagen Golf GTI or our stories on the new Golf GTD and Golf R hot hatchbacks.

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