The new Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI has launched in its domestic market of Germany, with the initial units shipping standard in seven-speed DSG form.

So, what’s the starting price? Well, in Germany, the new GTI-badged hot hatch is now available to order from €37 607,38 (that’s around R745 000 at the prevailing exchange rate).

Whether or not that turns out to be a reliable indicator of the new Golf GTI’s price in South Africa remains to be seen, considering equipment levels will likely be slightly different when the eighth-generation hot hatch arrives early in 2021. For the record, though, VW SA’s outgoing Golf 7 GTI is currently priced at R614 200, with the limited-edition GTI TCR coming in at R669 000.

In Germany, the Wolfsburg-based firm’s Discover Media infotainment system is fitted as standard, while the 10-inch Discover Pro system is optionally available. The new multifunction leather sports steering wheel features touch controls and an optionally integrated Travel Assist button to allow “assisted driving” up to speeds of 210 km/h.

“For over four decades, the three letters ‘GTI’ have stood for sporty driving pleasure and technology at the highest level. We thank our customers for 2,3 million Golf GTI sold. The new GTI is full of innovation. It too will set new standards and thrill our customers,” said Jürgen Stackmann, member of the Volkswagen brand board of management responsible for sales.

As a reminder, the new Golf 8 GTI was unveiled (alongside the Golf 8 GTD) at the end of February 2020, sporting fresh styling, extra power and a quicker-shifting DSG transmission.

As before, the GTI draws its urge from a version of VW’s familiar EA888 engine. Here, though, the turbocharged 2,0-litre, four-cylinder petrol unit has been tuned to deliver 180 kW (up from the SA-spec Golf 7 GTI’s peak output of 169 kW) and 370 N.m (some 20 N.m more than the outgoing model).

In May 2020, VW South Africa confirmed the local launch of the new Golf 8 GTI had been pushed back to early 2021.