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February 27, 2020

The 2021 Volkswagen Golf Hot Hatch Comes in Three Flavors

Volkswagen has finally lifted the covers off the hot hatch version of its all-new Mk. 8 Golf, and it comes in three flavors: gasoline, plug-in hybrid, and even diesel. Meet the 2021 Golf GTI, GTE, and GTD.

Taking the standard Golf as a starting point, Volkswagen has given the GTI, GTE, and GTD their own unique appearance. All are sportier and more menacing than the compact hatchback, using elements such as front fog lights that seem to blend into the honeycomb pattern of the lower grille. 17-inch rims are standard, but 18s and 19s are also on offer. Oh, and despite its similarities with each other, they carry unique design detail that set each one apart. For example, a narrow strip near the hood denotes whether it’s a GTI (red), GTE (blue), or GTD (silver). The same goes for the rear end, where the GTI gets one tailpipe on the left and right, the GTD gets two on the left, and the GTE with no visible tailpipe.

Inside, all three hotted Golf models receive the 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit and a 10-inch infotainment system. For the driver, there’s a sport’s steering wheel with touch controls and configurable ambient lighting. Oh, and as a nod to Golf GTIs of yesteryear, the checkered design is still present. Now called “Scalepaper,” all models start with a gray and black motif, but the GTI adds red; the GTE, blue; and the GTD light gray.

Powering the all-new Golf GTI is an evolved version of the tried-and-tested 2.0-liter EA888. In this guise, it now gets 245 horsepower and 370 Nm of torque. Power is routed either via a 6-speed manual or a drive-by-wire 7-speed dual clutch.

Meanwhile, for the GTE, it pairs a 150 horsepower 1.4-liter TSI gasoline engine with a 114 horsepower electric motor. This is good for a combined 245 horsepower, while torque rises to 400 Nm. Oh, and thanks to a 13 kWh battery, it can be driven at speeds up to 130 km/h in full electric mode.

Finally, there’s the GTD which debuts Volkswagen’s cleanest diesel ever. The 2.0-liter TDI engine here generates 200 horsepower, but maximum torque is at 400 Nm of torque. For this version, Volkswagen is offering it only with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Regardless of model, the Golf GTI/GTD/GTE offers handling improvements thanks to its Vehicle Dynamics Manager. With three settings, Comfort, Eco, and Sport, the system controls both controls the electronic differential lock (XDS) system as well as dampers.

Sadly, when asked whether the Philippines will get the Golf Mk. 8, Volkswagen Philippines replied that there is currently no plan to bring it in. Hopefully, that’ll change even if it’s just a limited run model.

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