VW’s eight-generation Golf GTI goes all-in on digital driving

Volkswagen has always had pretty good grounding when it comes to determining the proper recipe for a hot-tempered hatchback. The Golf GTI is an evidentiary study. It’s been around for 45 years, at least in its home market, a riotous run that’s incorporated smart packaging, visceral kicks and for a while, a German-language jingle that channeled Ronny and the Daytonas performing Little GTO, circa 1964. Due to COVID-19 hangups, the anticipated launch of the eighth-generation Golf GTI has been pushed back; it’s generally expected that the car will debut next summer as a 2022 model. By all indications, it ought to be well worth the wait. Wolfsburg is laying claim to the argument that the new GTI will be the most digitally connected budget performance car out there, and will have some serious engineering cred to back up its dramatic, if evolutionary, lines and appearance.

9. Judging design in virtual reality.

There’s enough tech coming with this Volkswagen to keep even the geekiest buyer out there sated and entertained. The car’s digital display will burst into life as soon as the doors are opened. Instead of analog instruments, the driver will face a 10.25-inch screen that Volkswagen calls a Digital Cockpit, with driver-selectable displays. Alongside will be a standard 8.25-inch Composition Media screen, with a 10-inch Discover Pro display optionally available, with up to 30 configurable colors and functions selected by controls on the steering wheel. Every Golf GTI will carry driver systems including Lane Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Pedestrian Monitoring and Cyclist Monitoring. Vehicle Dynamics Manager mapping and an XDS electronic differential lock is also included. As proof this isn’t just electronic whiling, the Golf GTI will produce 242hp from its 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged EA888 inline-four, mated to a standard six-speed manual or optional seven-speed automatic transaxle. Top speed will be electronically limited to 155 MPH, and the revised Golf bodywork has a drag coefficient as low as 0.275.

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