Time to say hi to the new GTI. On Wednesday, Volkswagen dispensed with the teasers and unveiled the full version of the new Mk8 version of the legendary performance Golf variant with a reputation for being one of the best handling cars on the market, period.
The best part: While the regular Golf won’t be coming Stateside, VW will sell the new GTI in the U.S. — and has promised it’s “cool as hell.”
There are no real surprises with the new GTI — which makes sense, since this is a nearly-perfect car that has made Car and Driver‘s 10 Best list for 14 years in a row. The Mk8 receives a power bump from 228 horsepower to 245 and from 258 pound-feet of torque to 273. It will still come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, and it’ll still incorporate classic GTI visual cues, such as the red “lipstick” detailing and plaid seats.
As exciting as the new GTI may be, there’s a bittersweet note to its reveal, as Volkswagen also announced two GTI siblings likely not coming to America. Europeans can opt for the GTE, a 245-hp plug-in hybrid with 37 miles of electric-only range, and the awesome GTD, a diesel with 200 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. There’s almost no chance of the GTD coming to the U.S. after Dieselgate, though we can hold onto hope VW will eventually bring the GTE over…and maybe make a wagon version.
VW has not announced when we should expect to see the new GTI arrive at U.S. dealers, but figure there’ll be at least few months between the launch and its European arrival, with another few months between that and an American debut. Our speculative guess would have the GTI coming to America by the end of the year, or perhaps a little later.
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