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Mk 8 Volkswagen Golf GTI here from $53,100

Volkswagen Group Australia details its inbound Mk8 Golf GTI, $6k more expensive

22 Feb 2021

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia (VGA) has outlined the pricing and specification of its latest Golf GTI with the iconic hot hatch being pushed decidedly upmarket to now start from $53,100 plus on-road costs when it hits local showrooms on May 24.


Adding almost $6000 to the GTI’s asking price inevitably opens it up to attack from the looming BMW 128ti ($56,900), the pricetag of which was initially scrutinised given its premium over the vast majority of its direct rivals, including the Mk7.5 GTI ($47,190).


Nevertheless, VGA justifies the hefty price increase through the inclusion of the brand’s new IQ.Drive semi-autonomous driving technology/safety suite, as well as being a new-generation model.


“In standard form the GTI is the most impressively equipped sporting hatchback for any price comparable or approaching it,” VGA said in a statement.


Currently being rolled out across VGA’s portfolio as part of model year updates, the IQ.Drive suite bundles together semi-autonomous driving aids with the vast majority of the car’s active safety features.


The suite is comprised of travel assist, front assist with pedestrian and cyclist monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane assist, oncoming vehicle braking when turning, driver fatigue detection, side assist, rear traffic alert, rearview camera, park assist, emergency assist, exit warning system, front and rear paring sensors, manoeuvre braking and tyre pressure monitoring.


For reference, travel assist is essentially a blend of lane keep assist and active cruise control.


Inside the cabin, the driver scores the latest ‘Digital Cockpit Pro’ (digital instrument cluster) and 10.0-inch ‘Discover Pro’ infotainment system which combine to form the ‘Innovision Cockpit’.


Other standard equipment highlights include 18-inch alloy wheels, honeycomb patterned dash and door trim, push button start, LED headlights, sports seats, tartan cloth upholstery, black headliner, stainless steel pedals and red stitching.


Those wanting leather-appointed upholstery and electric driver’s seat controls will have to opt for the $3800 ‘luxury package’ which also adds front seat heating and ventilation, a heated steering wheel, panoramic glass sunroof and a memory function for the driver’s seat.


A $1500 ‘sound and vision package’ is also available, containing a head-up display and a nine-speaker (plus sub), 480W Harman Kardon premium audio system.


Sporting the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as the previous generation, the Mk8 GTI does not possess any extra firepower over its predecessor, with peak power and torque rated at 180kW/370Nm.


As ever for a GTI, drive is sent exclusively to the front wheels with the sole transmission choice in Australia to be a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic – VGA dropped the manual transmission from the current generation citing a lack of demand, a moved mirrored in the mechanically related Skoda Octavia range.


Regardless, 0-100km/h is completed in a claimed 6.3 seconds while combined fuel economy is pegged at 7.0 litres per 100km.


To maximise its cornering prowess, the GTI will come standard with adaptive damping, electronically controlled front-axle differential lock and progressive steering.


“The art that continues to elude the GTI’s imagined competitors is a car that is as civilised in daily deployment as you choose, but which can be an accomplished sportscar when you wish,” VGA managing director Michael Bartsch said.


“It is these virtues, coupled with a classic rather than kitsch design and the latest in on-board technology, that will ensure the GTI and, next year, the Golf R Mark 8, continue to outsell rivals by a great margin.”


While the GTI is not listed specifically in the monthly VFacts data, VGA sold 30 Golfs last month, accounting for 0.4 per cent of the sub-$40,000 small car segment which is currently being dominated by the Toyota Corolla (2062/24.6%) and Hyundai i30 (1952/23.3%).

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