Motoring News

Ready to tee-off in SA: Here comes the VW Golf 8 GTI

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The eighth generation of Volkswagen’s Golf GTI will be launched in South Africa in the second quarter of 2021 45 years after the first Golf units were launched at the Frankfurt auto show.

Simultaneously, it introduced the concept of the GTI and of which the current GTI has in South Africa sold 14 252 units since its launch in July 2013.

”South Africa,” VW SA told The Corner, ”has become one of the world’s biggest Golf GTI markets outside of Europe with 34% of 42 320 total seventh generation of Golf sales. The Golf was also the best-seller in the A hatch segment in South Africa in 2020 with a 29.1% segment share.

2021 VW GOLF GTI. Image: VW


So, here comes the next one… and VWSA says the new model continues with front-wheels drive, a powerful petrol engine and the identifying red stripe on the radiator grille.

It has also been hugely ”digitalised” with smart assistance systems. The ignition lock has been replaced by a standard start/stop button that will pulse red until the driver fires it up.

The 2021 GTI, VW said, has wide air-intakes, low-positioned diode headlights with 22 individual diodes in each and the driver can customise with optional sliding turn indicators. The roof spoiler, diffuser, and two round tailpipes – one each side – are distinguishing features. A sunroof is an option.

READ MORE VW Golf features on Carman’s Corner

As already mentioned, the coming GTI will have a completely digitalised ”landscape” of displays and controls which lights up as the doors are opened. The previous three-spoked sport multi-function steering-wheel now carries touch controls.

2021 VW GTI. Image: Supplied

The conventional controls for head- and fog lights now have digital controls and the cars will have a smaller gearshifter hooked to a shift-by-wire system. Swiping actions will change radio volume and temperature controls and ambient lighting is also a standard feature – 30 interior colours to choose from.

The Golf 8 GTI will be the second VW to offer the option of a Harmon Kardon sound system with a 12-channel amplifier, 480W output from eight speakers, a centre speaker, and a sub-woofer.


Only one derivative will reach SA but it will have 18” alloy wheel rims, a ”’lights and vision” package, auto aircon, heatable leather-skinned multi-function sport steering wheel with shift paddles, leather upholstery, and keyless locking/start with touch control.

2021 VW GTI. Image: Supplied

Other useful benefits will include cruise control/speed limiter, parking radar, cellphone interface with  inductive charging, and 30 colours of ambient lighting.

READ MORE VW Golf features on Carman’s Corner

Optional features will include a swivelling tow hitch, black styling package with black 18” Bergamo alloy rims, head-up display, adaptive chassis control, smokers package, 19” alloy wheels, Harmon Kardon sound system, satnav, USB, parking radar, blind-spot alert and rear camera, lane-keeping, folding external mirrors, and emergency braking.

2021 VW GTI. Image: Supplied

Three solid paint exterior colours (white, two shades of grey, four metallics – grey, blue, red, silver –  and two pearlescent (black or white).

The 2021 units will have 11kW more power than its predecessor: the 2.0 turbo, front-wheel drive, will make 180kW/370Nm and spin a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission – all of which will require 6.4sec to reach 100km/h should the driver desire.


Er, can’t tell you. They will be announced at the SA launch. 

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