Volkswagen previews 2021 GTI ahead of Geneva introduction
23 February 2020 - Autoblog
The eighth-generation Volkswagen GTI will be one of the stars of the upcoming Geneva auto show. To whet our appetite, the German company released a preview image that hints at what the new Golf looks like in GTI form.
Explore the nameplate's decades-long heritage and you'll notice it has always been characterized by a large dose of subtlety. The eighth-generation model won't break with tradition. It looks a lot like the standard Golf it's based on, but its front end gains a wide grille with honeycomb inserts and integrated LED daytime running lights. The red accents present on every previous version of the Golf GTI make an unsurprising return. There's a red accent line across the top of the grille and a red GTI badge within. A thin, LED light band also stretches across the top of the grille and connects to the DRL elements within the headlamps. Inside, we're told that the model's checkered-pattern cloth upholstery returns, while new elements include a digital instrument cluster and a new steering wheel with touchpad switches.
As we've already reported, rumors claim Volkswagen chose not to add the GTI to its growing roster of electrified cars. It will allegedly receive an evolution of the seventh-generation model's turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission will continue to come standard, as you'd expect, and a quick-shifting dual-clutch automatic transmission will be offered at an extra cost. VW's Travel Assist semi-autonomous highway-driving feature will be available here as well.
Volkswagen will release additional information about the next-generation GTI in the coming days, and the model will break cover in the first week of March. The turbodiesel-powered GTD will also make its debut in Geneva. Looking ahead, the plug-in hybrid GTE and the flagship R will round out the range of hot-rodded Golfs. They're among the 34 new and updated models the firm plans to introduce by the end of 2020 as it overhauls its line-up.