The GTI remains the "heart and soul" of the brand.

In the first day of May, fans of the Volkswagen Golf in America were probably quite disappointed to hear the next-generation of the model won’t be sold at this side of the pond in its regular form. However, VW will bring the GTI and R versions here, and the company’s CEO for North America promises the former will be a game changer.

In a recent interview with Automobile Magazine, Scott Keogh was kind enough to discuss the future of the marque and the new Golf GTI, and assured it will be even more than what enthusiasts expect. Keogh promised that the GTI will remain an important part of VW’s plans even in the era of electrification and digitalization.

“That’s the heart and soul of our brand,” he told the publication. “One of the things I’m proud of actually is we did a great job with that Jetta [GLI] and basically matching it up to a GTI, the same drivetrain, the same brakes up front. Even if the volume is small, it’s our most loyal people, our most enthusiastic people.”

Not only that, but Keogh believes the new Golf GTI will actually shake the hot hatch segment – it’s going to be “as cool as hell,” as he described it. “We will be launching the Golf VIII, which will be the next-gen and it will have a GTI, so we’re 100 percent on board.”

The new Golf GTI is planned for a release sometime next year and you’ll probably be happy to learn that it will remain true to its roots and won’t embrace electrification. Power is expected to be provided by a 2.0-liter TSI turbocharged engine with more horsepower than the Golf GTI MK7.

As for the regular Golf, we’re just a few months away from its official debut. Again, it won’t be offered in the United States but customers in Europe should be able to order it from the last weeks of this year.

Source: Automobile Magazine