The new Volkswagen Golf GTi.

by Seán Creedon

There is an old saying “if it’s not broke, don’t break it” and that’s seems to be true with Volkswagen, who recently launched the 8th edition of their Golf GTi, which we are told is much the same as the 7th generation.

Due to the current Lockdown, we had to make do with an on-line launch, so it will be a few  weeks, maybe months, before we see this sporty car in Irish showrooms.

From initial viewing externally at least, it looks much the same as the previous version, but naturally there are going to be improvements in the engine, indeed all over the car.

The Golf is a mainstay of the German company with the GTi its star turn.

VW say the new car will be faster, more responsive and superior to the car it replaces. It will be a five-door only design and the new 2.0-litre petrol engine will output a massive 245 brake horse power.

Inside the famed GTi tartan fabric pattern continues on new GTi specific sports seats. The GTi  features an ‘Innovation’ cockpit that comprises a 10.25-inch digital cockpit merged with a 10-inch navigation display.

The new GTi features a choice of a manual gearbox or DSG auto. VW claim that the new version will give greater driving pleasure, better grip, improved stability and precision while remaining a practical everyday car also.

In the video presentation, VW works driver Benjamin Leuchter showed us videos demonstrating the GTi8’s superiority on the track over the outgoing car. This new version of the VW hot hatch is flatter and more elongated than the previous version, but only in millimetres.

The 8th version of the GTi will hopefully arrive in Ireland in quarter three or maybe quarter four this year.

VW Ireland say pricing should be approximately €46,000, which is close enough to the price of the 7th version of the car.

VW has big plans for their new electric car the ID.3 this year, but so far they have no plans right now for an electric version of the Golf GTI. The first Golf first went on sale in May 1974 and the GTi came two years later.

Originally VW was going to produce just 5,000 GTi’s, but to-date more than 2.3 million have been sold. But I reckon this is the first time that the famous VW brand have had to launch a new car via a video presentation.

We got the 8th generation of the Golf in October last year, now all fans of the sporty Golf are anxiously looking forward to the arrival of the GTi in Ireland.

In the past I have mentioned some famous people who owned a Golf. England soccer international Theo Walcott drove a Golf in his early days at Arsenal and Pope Emeritus bought a new Golf in 1999 when he was known as Cardinal Ratzinger.

When he became Pope in 2005 Ratzinger’s private secretary Dr Josef Clemens, who imported the car from Germany to Rome in 1999, drove the car back to his home town of Siegen and sold it.

When the new owner realised the importance of the car he sold it on e-bay for €189,000. So the motto seems to be, if you are buying a second hand car, always check the name on the log book!