Europe's Golf GTD should look pretty much the same as the GTI.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months, you’re likely aware Volkswagen won’t be wasting any time with the Golf 8’s rollout as four performance versions will be launched in 2020. Some have already been confirmed for the U.S., such as the GTI and R, while the availability of other variants such as the GTI TCR and GTD is uncertain. The latter is highly unlikely to be sold stateside where diesel engines are few and far between, while the former is unclear whether it will join the range at some point.
A new rendering created by Kolesa.ru envisions what will surely become the most successful version of the Golf’s performance quartet, the Grand Touring Injection. We’ve seen plenty of spy shots with the front-wheel-drive hot hatch carrying very little camouflage, so it’s not that hard to imagine how the GTI Mk8 is going to look like once it’ll be officially revealed next year.
Seeing as how the GTI has always been about subtle sporty design upgrades over the regular Golf models, we’re not expecting the situation to be any different with its eighth iteration. Discreet red accents and a more aggressive front bumper are on the menu, and so are larger wheels and a dual exhaust system. The ride height will be dropped a bit courtesy of a stiffer suspension setup to improve handling, and we’re also expecting a sharper chassis setup together with beefier brakes.
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Some folks won’t like hearing this, but the new Golf GTI is going to be offered exclusively with five doors as a consequence of declining demand for small three-door cars in general. It also means you’ll be stuck with five doors if you plan on getting the Golf R, which in Europe might get a wagon variant once again for the all-in-one family car.
The new Golf already packs 245 horsepower courtesy of a plug-in hybrid powertrain offered on the GTE variant, and it would make sense for the GTI to offer at least that output without resorting to electrification. The TCR might up the power ante a bit and feature a series of track-oriented upgrades while retaining much of the same familiar design shared with the diesel-fueled GTD only some countries will get.
VW hasn’t said when exactly it will roll out the hotter Golfs in 2020, but logic tells us the GTI will be the first to see the light of day, possibly in the first half of the year.