The car that started the modern era of affordable enthusiast ownership and simultaneously introduced the world to the idea of a hot hatchback is finally getting its official eighth generation. Yesterday, Volkswagen showed us the MK8 GTI, GTE, and GTD options we will see in showrooms everywhere quite soon. Here is our first look at the final version of the brand new MK8 trio.
This time around, there are three versions to choose between in the higher trim level of the Golf. The GTI, which we know and love, the GTE, and the GTD. The last two are new and offer something a little different for the platform. They seem to have similar equipment but feature different drivetrains.
The GTD is, of course, a diesel. VW claims it is ‘the cleanest diesel in the world,’ which is rich coming from the Dieselgate perpetrators. That said, the 2.0 turbodiesel uses ‘twin dosing’ to cut down on emissions. Sadly, the GTD is only available as a DSG, but it does have 197hp.
Next up is the GTE, which I think is pretty nifty. While we don’t get the Golf E here in America, we will likely get the GTE. This option has the same 242hp as the GTI and even more torque thanks to an odd engine combination. The GTE uses a 1.4-liter engine and an electric motor that picks up the rest of the slack. It will have an all-EV mode, which allows the GTE to drive around 37 miles on battery power alone.
Finally, the golden child, the GTI. The more familiar option has 242hp, a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG, and the iconic tartan pattern interior. With a nearly 40hp bump over the previous GTI, and the same style package we already know and love, the MK8 GTI is more than just a facelift like the MK7.5. The MK8 GTI is the best-performing GTI yet and still comes with a row-your-own gearbox between the seats. We honestly can’t wait to get our hands on one and see what a tune, intake, exhaust, suspension, wheels, tires, and exterior upgrades do for the hot hatch.
With the new trio set to hit showrooms in the coming months, we’re already chomping at the bit. Nothing is more exciting than thinking about a brand new GTI to tweak. Well, nothing except a new diesel option and a hybrid battery-electric version. The only real question we have to ask now is which one will you pick? Of course, if you can’t wait to get wrenching, you can always upgrade your older GTI with our selection of ECS performance upgrades.