We're just as surprised as you are.
It’s been a bittersweet kind of week for Golf fans as although VW has pushed back the reveal of the eighth generation, it’s still due this year. As we’re heading into the weekend, a spokesperson from the Wolfsburg squad is making a rather surprising announcement – the spicy GTI and R derivatives are both planned to come out in 2020.
That’s right, no more waiting a couple of years into the Golf’s cycle for the hotter and hottest hatches. The regular versions of Europe’s best-selling car are scheduled to go on sale on the old continent in the first part of 2019, with the GTI due in the third quarter of the year – at least in Australia. The news about the front-wheel-drive hot hatch’s Aussie launch was shared by a VW spokesperson in an interview with Wheels magazine. The very same person went on to mention the R is set “to follow later in the year” for the Australian market.
It’s unclear if other markets, specifically the European ones, will be getting the amped-up hatchbacks sooner than those living Down Under. That being said, it would make sense for VW to have the GTI and R on sale in Germany first and shortly thereafter in other major Euro countries before bringing it to the world’s sixth largest country by land area.
VW has briefly talked about the next Golf R, calling it a “fantastic” car and a “performance king.” However, the tantalising R400 concept from 2014 won’t be going into production for the Mk8 as internal studies have shown people just don’t want to pony up the premium for a 400-bhp Golf and deal with the higher maintenance costs.
As for the Grand Tourer Injection, VW has ultimately decided against embracing electrification, so the eighth Golf GTI won’t be a hybrid as originally conceived. It will soldier on with the 2.0 TSI engine, but in an upgraded guise with additional horsepower and torque over the Mk7.