The latest version of the performance hatch is more powerful and technically advanced, featuring the familiar EA888 2,0-litre turbo petrol motor with 180 kW and 370 N.m of torque, sending power to the front axle via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. With this, it’ll sprint from 0-100 km/h in 6,4 seconds. Dynamic chassis control with variable shock absorbers will be available as an option, as will dynamic indicators and a panoramic sunroof.
If we dig a little deeper into what went into developing the chassis, Volkswagen says the engineers focused on improving stability, precision and cornering grip, at the same time maintaining the everyday comfort of the Golf 8 GTI.
“The Golf GTI has always been synonymous with pure driving dynamics,” says Karsten Schebsdat, Volkswagen’s Head of Driving Dynamics, Steering and Control Systems.
“Few other vehicles in this category offer a similarly finely tuned balance between sportiness and comfort. Thanks to the combination of new running gear setup plus torque-sensing limited-slip differential (VAQ) and Vehicle Dynamics Manager we were able to elevate the outstanding overall performance of the Golf 8 GTI to an even higher level.”
What’s new under the GTI’s skin?
Changes to the running gear setup on the new performance hatch are designed to increase precision and driving stability. The strut-type front suspension has reconfigured wishbone bearings and revised damping hydraulics. The springs and buffer stops are reconfigured as well, to give a front axle spring rate five percent higher than Mk7 GTI.
A new, more rigid aluminum subframe is nearly three kilograms lighter than that of its predecessor, while the multilink rear axle features a new wheel mount, wishbone bearing and spring setup, as well as reconfigured auxiliary springs.
At the rear axle, the spring rate increases by 15 percent compared with the Mk7, the damping bearings are new, as are the damping hydraulics.
In its latest iteration, the Golf 8 GTI debuts a new driving dynamics control system— Vehicle Dynamics Manager (VDM). Volkswagen says the system connects the electronic stability control (ESC) with the electronic differential locks (XDS) and the optional DCC adaptive damping system. Individual wheel damping takes place 200 times a second in order to provide agile and accurate handling, says Volkswagen.
The new Golf 8 GTI now comes standard with an electronically controlled torque sensing limited-slip differential.
If used on on the racetrack, the ESC intervention can be adapted in two stages. In ESC Sport mode, the ESC thresholds and ASR slip thresholds are increased to reduce the intensity of interventions.
In ESC Off mode, ambitious drivers can deactivate ESC altogether.
Available adaptive chassis control (DCC) continuously reacts to the road surface and driving situation. For the first time, the DCC running gear’s lateral dynamic components in the new GTI are coordinated and then further optimised by the VDM.
Via the driving mode settings, the driver can influence the reduction in body motion as desired.
The required damping is calculated for each wheel and adjusted at the four dampers within fractions of a second. This ensures that DCC can provide the highest level of driving comfort and ideal driving dynamics in conjunction with the VDM.
In the latest DCC generation, the vehicle setup can be extended in Individual mode to go beyond the existing range of the fixed Comfort, Eco and Sport modes, says Volkswagen.
In the Comfort setting, the body is “decoupled” from the road surface as much as possible, thus boosting driving comfort. By selecting Sport mode, there is an extended setting range with maximum damping for minimised body movements.
But does this all add up to a well-balanced car? We are looking forward to trying out the new Golf GTI later this year.
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