Klaus Bischoff, Head Designer. The Golf GTI is an icon. “Each member of our team is aware of the responsibility on their shoulders when developing a new Golf. Evolving an icon like this is an enormous challenge but also the most exciting thing that can happen to you as a designer”, explains Klaus Bischoff, Head of Volkswagen Group Design and the Volkswagen brand’s Design department. He continues: “The Golf GTI also requires an evolution or even a reinvention of the very specific insignia of this sports car. And I think that we have done a particularly good job with the new Golf GTI.” It goes without saying that the eighth Golf GTI will carry the DNA of the original GTI into the future. Bischoff adds: “The new GTI is a design statement; it merges a dynamic, sporty character with uncompromising functionality.” The eighth Golf generation is once again based on the modular transverse matrix or MQB for short. As part of the transition from the Mk7 to Mk8 Golf, MQB was used to lend vehicle proportions an even sportier character – an outstanding basis for the design of the new GTI. In this context, Klaus Bischoff goes on to say: “The new Golf GTI boasts a very low, visual centre of gravity which we achieved through the wide air intakes at the front and the striking shoulder line. This superior, sporty character gives aesthetic expression to the vehicle’s potential.”
The exterior in detail
Dynamic front end. The design of the new Golf GTI embodies sporty charisma. The GTI has become faster, more efficient and safer in terms of its driving dynamics thanks to superlative aerodynamics (cd = 0.275). Standard LED headlights have been arranged low down. These are optionally available as IQ.LIGHT – LED matrix headlights. They form a striking crossbar in conjunction with the radiator grille. A slim, red GTI line towards the top of the bonnet now stretches across the front section. An LED strip in the headlight mirrors the red line when the daytime running lights are activated – or when the driver approaches with the key. As an optional extra, the radiator grille can now be illuminated as a continuation of the LED strip for the first time. This creates a completely new, unmistakable headlight design. Another striking and unmistakable feature is the large, single-piece lower air intake grille in typical GTI honeycomb pattern. It is framed on the outside by a black appliqué, with a striking wing-like design on the sides. The new GTI insignia also include the optional fog lights which have now been integrated into the air intake grille in an X formation.
Striking outline. The 17-inch Richmond alloy wheels fitted as standard catch the eye from a side view. These GTI wheels are optionally also available in an 18-inch version. The range of wheels additionally includes further 17, 18 and 19-inch alloy wheels. Red brake calipers always form part of the standard equipment. On the side of the front wing the GTI also features a signet consisting of the three iconic letters G, T and I. A bespoke spoiler extends the roof line at the very top of the vehicle silhouette. The design element that stands out on the side is the traditional C-pillar, a feature shared by both the standard Golf and its GTI variant. It visually propels the vehicle body forwards and transposes the iconic graphics of the original GTI into the modern era.
Superior rear end. As outlined, the new Golf has a powerful shoulder section and a strong rear end design. This element can also be found on the Golf GTI. The GTI lettering is now positioned centrally under the new Volkswagen emblem rather than on the driver side as it was before. The Golf GTI appears to be even flatter than less powerful Golf models thanks to the roof spoiler that extends significantly towards the rear (painted in the vehicle colour at the top, glossy black at the bottom). Down below, the sporty diffuser distinguishes the new edition of this icon from the other versions of the product line with smaller engines. In keeping with GTI tradition, the new model’s exhaust system has one tailpipe on the left and one on the right.
The interior in detail
Dynamic insignia. Ever since the first Golf GTI made its debut, this car has been like a perfectly fitting pair of jeans. Right from the outset, Volkswagen created distinctive, unmistakeable GTI insignia with the multitude of interior details – the sports steering wheel featuring three silver double spokes and recessed Wolfsburg emblem on the impact absorbing element, the gear knob in the shape of a black golf ball, GTI sports seats in tartan with black side bolsters – all of which have long since become classic design elements.
A nod to the past, a nod to the future. Although Volkswagen is enhancing the digital and networking capabilities of the eighth-generation Golf – and with it the GTI – to an unprecedented extent in order to future-proof the range, many of the original insignia can still be found on board. However, the sports steering wheel of yesteryear has been transformed into a new multifunction leather sports steering wheel with touch controls and an optional Travel Assist button to help the powerful Golf reach a top speed of 210 km/h while Travel Assist is engaged. The three silver spokes have been retained – in the GTI the centre spoke has been upgraded with a red interior. The classic checked pattern of the new sports seats development is also a must. The tartan design is now called Scalepaper (featuring red seams with grey and black tartan). Red is also used for all decorative seams and edging.
Fit for the modern age. The Golf GTI’s digital displays start up as soon as the doors are opened. They are a fusion of the standard Digital Cockpit (digital instruments) and the Infotainment system. Composition, featuring an 8.25-inch screen, is installed in this vehicle as standard while the 10-inch Discover Pro system is available as an optional extra for the most advanced expansion package. If Discover Pro has been installed in the vehicle, it merges with the Digital Cockpit to form the Innovision Cockpit, offering further enhanced functionality. Regardless of which Infotainment system is on board the Golf GTI, the visual and functional fusion of systems creates a new and consistent digital architecture. Background lighting, which comes as standard, embeds the displays and all other illuminated interior areas (dash panel, door trim, storage compartment with interface for mobile telephone, footwell) in a spectrum of 30 configurable colours. The GTI gear knob was specifically designed for the standard, manual six-speed gearbox. The new Golf GTI is optionally also available with an automatic 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG). The functionality of the standard Engine Start/Stop button has been customised – once the doors have been opened, it pulses red until the 245-PS TSI engine has been started.