Volkswagen has revealed Australian pricing and specifications for the Golf GTI Mark 8, which will cost $53,100 plus on road costs when it goes on sale from May 24.
It’s a steep $5910 increase on its predecessor and is close to the $55,990 asking price for the outgoing Golf R.
It makes it one of the most expensive hot hatches out there, putting it in the same price range as the Subaru WRX STI ($52,640), Honda Civic Type R ($54,990) and Renault Megane RS Trophy ($53,990).
The price hike hasn’t gone towards a new powertrain: it has the same engine and transmission as the GTI Performance variant from October 2018, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine sending 180kW and 370Nm to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch automatic (now shift-by-wire).
VW says it will cover 0-100km/h in 6.3 seconds, while fuel economy is listed at 7.0L/100km.
Standard sporty features include progressive steering, an electronically controlled front differential lock and shock absorbers. (Adaptive Chassis Control) during every driving manoeuvre.
The stability control can be changed so the threshold is increased when driving hard, or there is an ESP Off mode which will still reactivate stability control in emergencies.
Inside sees the infotainment system seriously updated, with the excellent digital driver display/10-inch central screen combination from the Touareg included as standard.
The front sport seats have integrated head restraints and the traditional GT red stitching and tartan style fabric.
Other GTI signatures continue, such as a new flat bottomed steering wheel and the honeycombe grille pattern design replicated on the dash and doors.
The start button tantalisingly pulses red until the driver starts the engine.
To differentiate itself from the rest of the Golf line-up, the GTI’s familiar red grille strip is now accompanied by a parallel LED crossbar stretching from the outside of the LED headlights to the VW badge in the centre of the grille.
Below, the lower spoiler gets a black honeycomb air intake and unique LED fog lights, while the front spoiler, side sills, rear diffuser with chrome tailpipes and rear spoiler extending the roof line are also added.
The 18-inch “Richmond” alloy wheels are GT-exclusive and help the red brake callipers stand out.
VW’s IQ.DRIVE tech suite covers safety, including the semi-autonomous Travel Assist, autonomous braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control, lane assist, autnomous intersection braking, rear cross traffic alert and more.
Buyers looking for more have a choice of two option packs.
The $1500 Sound and Vision package adds a head-up display and a 480W Harman Kardon audio system with nine speakers, subwoofer and 12-channle amplifier, while the $3800 Luxury package adds Vienna leather appointed upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, electrically operated driver’s seat with memory, heated steering wheel and a panoramic electric glass sunroof.