In Depth

Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk8 2020: latest spy shots, specs, price and release

Hot version of the upcoming eighth-generation hatchback is on the horizon - here’s what we know so far

Volkswagen is just a couple of weeks away from unveiling its eight-generation Golf hatchback - and it’s set to be followed by a performance-focused GTI version a few months later. 

Unlike the regular Golf Mk8, which has spied testing in near-production form on multiple occasions, the German carmaker is keeping a tight lid on the GTI hot hatch. 

Only a handful of spy shots have emerged in recent months, many of which show highly-camouflaged development mules being put through their paces around the 12.9-mile Nurburgring circuit in Germany. 

The latest images come from Motor1, revealing the GTI’s “sportier body kit, larger wheels” and “generously sized exhaust tips.”

The eighth-generation GTI will also sport a range of performance upgrades to give its rivals, such as the Hyundai i30 N, a run for their money on a track day. Don’t expect an all-electric version, though, as VW insists that it is committed to combustion power for its next hot hatch. Those after an electric hatchback can instead opt for the new, Golf-sized ID.3

More details are expected to emerge when the covers come off the regular Golf later this month. 

In the meantime, here’s what we know about the next-generation GTI: 

Release

According to Autocar, the GTI will be unveiled “in the middle of 2020.” Fans will, however, get their first look at the new Golf shape when the covers come off the regular model on 24 October.

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Price

As the GTI won’t be unveiled for some time, VW is unlikely to announce the hot hatch’s pricing any time soon.

At £31,500, today’s GTI models carry a £12,000 premium over the cheapest Golf on sale. The next model is expected to match the current car on price, though VW may choose to add a few thousand to the cost.

Design

Given the sheer amount of camouflage on the development car, it’s difficult to spot the differences between the new GTI and the regular model. 

Despite the camouflage, there are a few elements that identify the car spied by the motoring world’s paparazzi as the next GTI.

For example, the development car has “bigger and wider wheels” than the standard Golf, as well as “wider sills” running around the base of the car and “bigger air intakes”, says Motor1.

There are also a pair of exhausts protruding from below the rear bumper, plus a rear spoiler that’s “noticeably larger than the one on the regular Golf”, the site adds. 

The visual upgrades appear to be inspired by the current GTI TCR, a track-focused model that celebrates the company’s success in the TCR touring car series. 

Engines and performance

The next-generation GTI will be powered by an “updated version” of the Audi-built 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that is found in the current seventh-generation GTI, Autocar claims.

As is the case with the existing GTI, the magazine says the new model will be offered with two power outputs. These consist of a standard 252bhp model and a 286bhp variant that will adopt the TCR badge. 

Although VW is pushing for more electrified models in its range, spearheaded by its new ID. 3, the German carmaker has confirmed that the GTI won’t be part of its electric strategy, says US-based motoring site CarBuzz

However, the hot hatch may employ a “mild hybrid” system, which could use electrical energy to boost the combustion engine’s power output, the website speculates.

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