New Volkswagen Golf GTI goes on sale with manual or automatic gearbox

Plug-in Golf GTE and mild-hybrid version also now available to order

VOLKSWAGEN has had something of a big week. It announced its sophomore ID car, the ID.4 electric SUV, earlier this week, and has today opened the order books for the new duo of Golf hot hatches, the GTI and GTE plug-in hybrid, as well as a more frugal eTSI mild hybrid Golf 8 variant.

This is the eighth generation of the Golf GTI and, not surprisingly, based on the eighth generation of the Golf that was unveiled last year. Like the Mk7 GTI, the new model is kitted out with a turbocharged 2-litre, four-cylinder engine, though it’s now producing an extra 24bhp, upping its overall power to 242bhp (sent to the front wheels), with 274lb ft of torque.

The powerplant is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, which can be upgraded to a seven speed, double clutch DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) automatic. The DSG is actually faster-accelerating, with a 0-62mph time of 6.2sec.

We now know that prices for the GTI start £33,460, with an extra £1,500 on top of that if you want the seven-speed DSG. That puts it in the same ballpark as the facelifted Honda Civic Type R and makes it a couple of grand more expensive than the Ford Focus ST.

The VW Golf GTE

The GTE plug-in hybrid has the same power output as the GTI thanks to the combination of a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine and a 108bhp electric motor mated to a 13kWh battery pack (double the size of the one in the previous GTE). It’s available solely with a six-speed DSG specifically designed for use in plug-in hybrid models.

With an official fuel economy figure of 176.6mpg, the GTE is potentially much less thirsty than the GTI, though that will vary greatly depending on how much electric motoring customers rack up. The plug-in model has a claimed electric-only range of 32 miles, which could be ideal for most daily driving duties. Charging around five hours at 2.3kW, using the 10amp mains cable, and three hours 40 minutes at 3.6kW with a 16amp Type 2 cable suitable for home wallboxes and public charging points. There’s a price premium over the GTI, over course, with prices starting at £35,960.

Finally, there is a more “frugal” Golf put up for sale today; the eTSI mild hybrid, which comes set up with a turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine paired with a small electric motor and battery that does some of the heavy lifting under acceleration. This gives it a claimed economy of 54.3mpg. It’s also the cheapest model in the Golf 8 range, at £25,190 OTR.

The new Golf GTI, Golf GTE and Golf eTSI are now available to order, with deliveries commencing later this year.

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