2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI spied testing

The next Golf GTI has been spotted testing in the Arctic Circle before its reveal next year

New images of the Mk8 Volkswagen Golf GTI have surfaced, following an initial sighting on the Nurburgring in July. This time, the Green Hell has been swapped for the Arctic Circle, with near-camo-free mules giving us a closer look at the iconic hot hatch set for a full reveal in 2020. 

With the standard eighth generation Golf now out in the open, we now have a much clearer idea of what to expect for the GTI, which will likely share many of its aesthetic details with the plug-in hybrid GTE that was revealed alongside it. As a result, expect elements like the GTE’s honeycomb grille, rear spoiler and side skirts to be shared, although the GTI will feature a different dual exhaust system and a more aggressive rear valance, as seen on this prototype.

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The wheels on the previous prototypes were borrowed from the current-generation Golf R, alluding to a 19-inch wheel and tyre package that is likely to be standard, if not a definite option. Smaller 18-inch units wrapped in winter tyres can be seen here, giving us a better look at the red brake calipers we’d expect from a GTI. 

The Mk8 Golf GTI will likely retain its 2-litre turbocharged petrol engine, and include possible mild-hybrid assistance, perhaps in the form of the 12V system as seen in the recent Audi A4 TFSI with which it shares its engine. This system is designed to ‘trim’ the petrol engine’s outputs, by recuperating energy and deploying it back into the electrical systems rather than directly assisting drive as in other mild-hybrids. Volkswagen is also expected to keep hold of the six-speed manual transmission, although the dual-clutch automatic is expected to make up a majority of sales. 

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Specific power figures remain unconfirmed at this point, but we suspect Volkswagen will lift the current car’s 242bhp figure to between 270 and 300bhp in order to keep in touch with rivals such as the new Ford Focus ST and Hyundai i30 N, as well as create some distance between it and the current 242bhp GTE plug-in hybrid that will so far tops the Golf range.

Any new Golf is always an important car for the world’s largest automotive conglomerate, but as the whole industry readies itself for the seismic shift about to be thrust upon it with the incoming electric car revolution, the new Golf will have to appeal more than ever to keep in touch with the normal buyer. The new GTI is expected to appear around 12 months after the standard Golf’s reveal, with an even hotter, all-wheel-drive Golf R replacement sometime after.

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