In a surprise move, Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) has given the media a sneak peek of the Volkswagen Golf Mk8. The backdrop you see here is the Sekinchan rice paddies, an unusual place for a media gathering. This was coming, like VPCM opened the registration of interest for the Mk8 Golf and advanced it earlier this month.We just weren’t expecting it today.
We have here the eighth generation golf in two flavors: the R-Line blank and the iconic GTI in red. Both will launch in Q1 2022 (which is right around the corner) in locally assembled CKD form. started in 2011 with the B7 Passat – It is the first time that golf is mounted here. It’s a big problem, especially for the GTI, which was only made in Germany and China.
Some are already licking their lips at the prospect of lower CKD prices, but we have no indication of VPCM, for now. The CBU Golf Mk7.5 was launched in 2019; Later, the 1.4 TSI R-Line was sold for RM166,990 while the GTI was priced at RM239,990.
To cars. We do not have a spec sheet or any official information for the case, but we will do our best through hearing and questions. This post is about the GTI; there’s a separate part on the 1.4L R-Line.
The eighth iteration of the hot hatch that started it all is still powered by an EA888 2.0L TSI engine, now generating 245 hp and 370 Nm of torque. That’s a 15 PS & 20 Nm increase from the regular Mk7.5 GTI, and on par with the Performance Pack version of that car. A six-speed manual transmission is an option elsewhere, but we have the seven-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission that sends power to the front wheels.
the 1.4L TSI by R-Line The engine produces 150hp and 250Nm, so the GTI is clearly a big step up the Golf performance ladder – that step is 95hp and 120Nm high, and so is the gearbox. Faster DSG (R-Line now with 8AT). The hot hatch completes the sprint from 0-100 km / h in 6.4 seconds (same as our Mk7.5 GTI) and the top speed is 250 km / h.
Under the skin are MacPherson struts up front, multi-link suspension at the rear, an XDS electronic differential lock, and a sport suspension setup that’s 15mm lower in ride height compared to the standard Golf. New to the Mk8 is a Vehicle Dynamics Manager control system that coordinates the operation of the XDS and optional DCC adaptive dampers. Also larger brake discs with red calipers.
As for the kit, the GTI receives the IQ.Light system (LED headlights with package of lights and sights, although curiously without the usual red stripe) as well as a set of 18-inch “Richmond” alloys. GTI-specific touches include the trademark red stripe on the grille and a honeycomb mesh for the lower grille, unfortunately without the five-point LED fog light option available in other markets.
The GTI is as low-key as high-performance hatchbacks come, also because our range starts at the R-Line, which the GTI look is based on, but you can easily see one from the twin chrome tailpipes (unlike the R-Line). -Line, these are real, one on each side), a slightly more pointed rear spoiler (barely visible) and the rear GTI badge, which replaces the central Golf text below the VW emblem.
Inside the Mk8’s newly minimalist cabin you’ll find perforated leather sports seats (tartan is great, but leather is what RM200k car buyers expect here), a fully digital instrument cluster (with GTI-specific red gauges ) and the latest MIB3 – touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wireless technology.
Everything here is very modern and digital; the only knob you will find is for the rear view mirrors; the lighting controls and the group between the center AC vents are touch sensitive. The direction buttons are also capacitive.
As with the exterior, there are no exclusive GTI signs throughout the cabin, but there is a flat-bottomed three-spoke steering wheel with a red accent and the GTI logo. Unsurprisingly, the interior theme is completely black, including the pillars and the roof. Red piping and stitching can be found on the grayish-black seats, but not on the steering. Gear knob? There isn’t much gear knob to wrap around on the Mk8, just a small bump on the sloped center console. There are also some honeycomb trim on the dash, which is a nice sporty touch.
In terms of safety, the GTI has the usual six airbags, ABS and ESP. However, it doesn’t come with any driver assistance technology like Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). VPCM said it is working to bring ADAS to its cars, but it appears that it has not made it to golf. One thing to note is that there are Isofix points on the front passenger seat, not just the rear seats.
VPCM says the locally assembled CKD Golf Mk8 range will launch “very, very soon”, probably in the first quarter of next year. There’s no price yet, but the CBU Mk7.5 GTI had a 2019 launch price of RM239,990, so you can start guessing from there. So what do you think of the latest chapter in the Golf GTI story?