The long-awaited next chapter in the GTI saga will be based on the new Golf introduced in late 2019. While we haven't seen it in the metal yet, recent spy shots suggest it will carry on with a low-key appearance largely free of the vents and wings that characterize some of its rivals. Twin exhaust tips, a selection of red accents, model-specific alloy wheels, and of course plaid upholstery on the seats will help the GTI stand out from the base Golf.
Volkswagen hasn't released technical specifications, but British magazine Autocar learned the company decided not to add the GTI to its roster of electrified cars. Instead of going hybrid, it will receive an evolution of the turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder that powers the outgoing seventh-generation model. It will remain front-wheel drive, motorists seeking all-wheel drive will need to step up to the Golf R, and we expect a six-speed manual transmission will continue to come standard, while a dual-clutch automatic will be on the list of options.
The 2020 edition of the Geneva show opens its doors to the media on March 3, so we expect to learn much more about the next-generation GTI in the coming weeks. While Volkswagen hasn't decided whether to sell the eighth-generation Golf in America, it previously confirmed the GTI (and the upcoming R) will return to our shores. Timing, market-specific technical details, and pricing will be announced closer to its on-sale date.
The GTI is one of 34 new models Volkswagen plans to introduce in 2020. The eighth-generation Golf range will expand with a GTD developed for the European market, a plug-in hybrid GTE, and the aforementioned Golf R.