We did not have to wait to see the arrival of the sports variations of the eighth generation of Golf. Barely three months after the classic versions, it is the turn of the GTD, GTI and GTE versions to be presented by Volkswagen.

Gasoline, Diesel, plug-in hybrid… The German manufacturer is the only one in the world to offer three sporty versions of its compact. Three visions of sportiness in fact, each with their own strengths.

A GTD Diesel to reconcile performance and good range, with an engine driven at 200 hp ie 16 hp more than the previous generation. Which makes it the most powerful diesel engine ever installed in a Golf.

The legendary GTI, the sporty petrol, embeds the latest evolution of the 2.0 TSI four-cylinder and is now developing 245 hp, or the power of the previous Clubsport version. Performance identical to that of the Golf 7, i.e. 6.2 s at 0 to 100 km / h, which is already not bad considering the current requirements in terms of CO2 emissions. It is also equipped with an electronic XDS differential as well as a chassis lowered by 15 mm, like the GTD.

Finally, the rechargeable hybrid will be offered in two versions: 204 and 245 hp. With a four-cylinder petrol 1.4 TSI of 150 hp associated with an electric motor of 102 hp, for an autonomy of 60 km in 100% electric thanks to its 13 kWh battery. But only the 245 hp version will receive the GTE badge.

Note therefore that it thus has the same power as the GTI. But his consequent overweight in front of the latter (+300 kg of batteries) prevents him from displaying the same dynamism with 0 to 100 km / h in 7.3 s. Failing to be able to succeed it, failing to achieve the same agility in turns in particular, it nevertheless represents a modern evolution of sportiness and may be the only survivor in the future.

the new sports variants GTI, GTD and GTE 6Volkswagen Golf GTE

Golf style

In detail, the new Golf takes over the platform of the Golf 7. In addition to the specific rims, we note some interesting aesthetic specificities on these three sporty versions of the Golf. Like he usually does, the Golf, even in the Sport version, retains a fairly sober style.

But this year, it incorporates a touch of daring to distinguish itself from its competitors, with first of all the backlit grille. A new look for the Golf. This will in fact be offered from the second level of finish on all conventional engines. We learn that it will remain illuminated even during the taxiing phases.

Each has the same particularly aggressive shield, incorporating a honeycomb pattern, but with the exception of the GTD, the GTI and GTE benefit from checkered fog lights, somewhat in the spirit of what we find on the Renault Megane RS .

Finally at the back, we note the integration of a specific spoiler. The badge indicating the engine is now placed in the center, under the VW logo, for a more upscale spirit.

the new sports variants GTI, GTD and GTE 7Volkswagen Golf GTi interior

Classic interiors

On board, little difference with the classic versions, apart from a badge on the steering wheel and well-wrapped seats, dressed in the usual Scottish patterned fabrics. Of course, these take advantage of all the technologies available to make driving safer. With in particular the Car2X function delivered as standard, the Golf is now capable of communicate with road infrastructure as well as vehicles equipped with the same technology within a radius of 800 meters, in order to exchange traffic information.

We especially observe that 10.5-inch digital instrumentation block adapts to the colors of the version : blue for the GTE and red for the GTI. It remains mated to a 10-inch touch screen in the center console. Contrary to rumors, the Golf GTI comes standard with a 6-speed manual gearbox with a new GTI shift knob.

The GTI is optionally available with a 7-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox, the GTD is also only available with this DSG gearbox. A six-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox developed for hybrid propulsion is installed in the GTE.

The prices have not yet been formalized but VW hopes to see a real boom in sales for the GTE version with 15% of the sales mix in Europe. This will arrive in September around 42,500 euros, which will position it almost at the rate of the GTI which for its part should be displayed at about 41,000 euros, without counting a penalty (in the best case) of 1,276 euros (WLTP). GTD, for its part, should be positioned around 39,000 euros. This is confirmed, Golf has become gentrified.

Finally, note that other versions should expand the range later: a super GTI, the TCR which pushes the 4 cylinders to 300 hp. Even stronger : the Golf R with 4-wheel drive and 330 hp.