Volkswagen has revealed the eighth generation of its iconic Golf hatchback, which features a refreshed look, tech-splosive interior, and a wealth of powertrain options.
The compact’s design is more evolutionary than revolutionary, although it’s clear to see the difference in the "MK8" car's front end. It retains the previous gen's grill design, but the new Golf's headlights feature an extended eyelash which makes up perhaps the most distinguishable styling cue. The rear-end, meanwhile, is sharper and further reinforces the upscale feel of Germany's sweetheart.
Physical sliders, buttons, and gauges are largely a thing of the past in the eighth-gen Golf, which has aggregated most interior functions into touchscreens accessible to the driver and front-row passenger. An optional Head-Up Display (HUD) can keep drivers informed of road conditions with the aid of standard V2X inter-vehicular communication, which can transmit info on signage, hazards, and other important details between equipped vehicles.
At launch, Volkswagen will offer the new Golf with 10 powertrain options across different markets, half of which will be hybrids featuring modern 48-volt electrical systems. Three eTSI mild hybrids will join a pair of plug-in (PHEV) options, the latter of which will be capable of traveling up to 37 miles on electric power alone using 13-kilowatt-hour batteries. These PHEVs are the most powerful Golfs announced so far, with a 201-horsepower base and 242 on the GTE sport hybrid.
Pure combustion powertrains will continue to be available in TSI, TGI, and TDI configurations. Two TSI engines (up to 108 horse) join the natural gas-burning TGI (128 hp) and twin TDI diesels (up to 148 hp), each of which uses 17 percent less fuel than their predecessors and emits just 20 percent as much NOX thanks to cutting-edge catalytic converters.
European dealers will begin to stock 2020 Golfs this December. Though Volkswagen has confirmed that it will continue to sell the Golf in the United States, only the sporting GTI and R variants are confirmed to be headed stateside, as the two have lately accounted for more than half of Golf sales on our shores. Volkswagen told The Drive that both the GTI and R will debut next year in Europe, and that no decisions regarding U.S. availability of Golfs other than these have yet been made.