The head of the Volkswagen Group in North America has promised the upcoming Golf 8 GTI will stay GTI, explaining that the three-letter badge “is the heart and soul of our brand”.

Speaking to CarBuzz, Volkswagen Group of North America CEO Scott Keogh suggested the German firm’s focus on electric vehicles would not threaten the Golf GTI.

Right now, the GTI is the heart and soul of our brand. However, I’m not naïve that the segment is getting smaller, but I’m also not naïve to the fact that we have got to hang on to that,” he told the US-based publication.

Keogh added “we need these types of cars”.

We will be bringing the eighth-generation Golf. That will have a GTI. We’re 100 percent on board. Right now GTI will stay GTI. We need these types of cars,” he said.

Keogh furthermore made reference to the recently revealed US-spec Jetta GLI.

One of the things I’m proud of is that I think we did the right job with that Jetta by basically matching it up to a GTI.

“I actually see more opportunities to do that. That platform is used in some other places. I won’t give away anything. But I think that is a brand to Volkswagen that even if the volume is small it is our most loyal people, our most enthusiast people. And you can see it right away.

“The instant we announced that GLI look at all of the credibility we got. People were like: ‘They did it. They finally matched it up’. So I think it’s a strategy we can match again.”