Today, Volkswagen released pictures ahead of the Geneva Motorshow of the new version of their iconic hot hatch, the eight-generation Golf GTI.
Complete specification details for the UK market haven't yet been released, but we have been told that the GTI will be ongoing on sale in the Summer, shortly after the general release of the standard Mk8 Golf derivatives.
As you will see from the above picture, Volkswagen have also launched images of the perhaps just as important Golf GTD and Golf GTE models. Whilst this offers a choice for pretty much anyone, this could very well be the last internal combustion powered Golf; for those looking to be more 'green' right now have the option of the futuristic looking Golf-sized ID.3.
As the photos show, Volkswagen hasn't fixed anything that wasn't broken - the recipe is pretty similar, with largely the same drive-train (the new GTI gets an additional 15bhp to reach 242bhp). Meanwhile, VW claim the new GTD is one of the cleanest diesels in the world, whilst still making more power than its predecessor.
The hybrid GTE meanwhile matches the the GTI's 242bhp but gets there in a very different way. There is a 1.4 petrol engine combined with a new, 50% larger 13kWh battery. Given the previous generation GTE weighed almost 200kg more than the GTI, it probably won't quite match the performance, but compensation is an alleged 37 miles of electric range - enough for many people's commute.
Well, not really. From our point of view at least, the design language for the 'hotter' Golfs is fairly restrained. The GTI can be specified with up to 19-inch wheels, complimenting some wider sills and the now familiar dual exhausts. There is of course the prominent GTI badging to ensure no-one second guesses what you're driving, together with the now familiar red pin-striping.
The more striking exterior feature is the optional full width LED light-bar across the front of the car. Outside of Europe the actual GTI badge illuminates too, but unfortunately that won't be available here for regulatory reasons. Instead, we must make do with the small roof spoiler.
Things get really interesting inside though. Whilst the familiar tartan seats return, the new GTI is largely button-free. The sleek interior boasts a 8.25 inch touchscreen, but the 10 inch optional version impresses as it blends into the 10.25-inch digital instrument panel. Combined with a choice of 30 selectable ambient lighting colours, it looks like a very high-end place to sit.
What is in no doubt is that the new Golf GTI will continue to be a safe bet; an excellent all-rounder that can meet a variety of roles. The Mk7 has been incredibly successful, with particularly the all-wheel-drive R model selling in sizeable number; it's still one of the most popular cars we sell due it ticking so many boxes. Likewise, the GTI has remained popular, as has the GTD.
Can't wait for the new GTI? Check out our range of used Volkswagen GTI, GTD and R models in stock now.