Update: This article has been updated with more images of the next-gen GTI cold-weather testing.
Volkswagen revealed the eighth-generation VW Golf last month, which means the new GTI is right around the corner. Spy photos of the camouflaged hot hatch first emerged this summer, and then we spotted it at the Nürburgring. Today, the latest pictures show the next-generation Golf GTI completely uncovered in the frigid cold and snow of the Arctic Circle.
Just like the standard Golf, the new GTI evolves the current car’s design. There will be sporty touches such as the slimmer front LED headlights, deep-vented grille, and enhanced shoulders. As with previous GTI models, the new one will receive a unique front and rear bumper, larger air intakes, a spoiler, sportier wheels, better tires, and the familiar dual-exit exhaust. VW will offer the next-gen GTI in only the five-door hatchback design.
A hybrid powertrain is no longer on the table for the GTI. Instead, it will use an updated version of the EA888 turbocharged 2.0-liter offered in the current Mk VII Golf GTI. The mill will have two outputs – 255 horsepower (190 kilowatts) and 295 hp (219 kW). The more potent mill is reserved for the GTI TCR, which will replace the GTI Performance trim. Gearbox choices stay the same – either a six-speed manual or seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic.
Gallery: Volkswagen Golf GTI Spy Photos
Inside, changes are just as subtle. The next GTI will feature a new digital cockpit – a head-up display is optional – new switchgear, a new center console, and a T-shaped shift lever.
The GTI is one of four new Golf models the German automaker plans to reveal next year. The product assault includes the Golf R, Golf GTD, and the GTI TCR. Sadly, the U.S. is only set to receive the GTI and R as Volkswagen won’t offer the base Golf here. With 2020 packed with Golf reveals, there’s a good chance the GTI could be on sale for the 2021 model year.