• The Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI was launched in SA earlier in August 2021.
• The car has always been a favourite among local buyers, making SA one of the most important GTI markets globally.
• Calvin Fisher drives the new car to better understand what the hype is about.
• For more motoring stories, visit Wheels24
After what felt like an eternity, the all-new Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI made its debut in South Africa. Powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine (codename: EA888) as the previous Golf GTI, the car sends 180kW and 370Nm to the front wheels via VW's familiar seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
The results are enticing, too. 0-100km/h is cleared in 6.4 seconds, while the top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h. And if one thinks that it's too much power for the front tyres to handle, don't fret because the new GTI's suspension - both front and rear - see a vast improvement over the seventh-generation GTI.
Wheels24 contributor Calvin Fisher, who also attended the car's local launch in Cape Town, said this after a day driving SA's favourite hatch: "My parting thoughts on the GTI? No surprises here, but plenty of delight and well worth the price of admission at a reasonable R670k.
"It remains the poster child for 'evolution over revolution', but I appreciate that with this eighth coming, they've at least hired a stylist to properly design its face. This feels like a newer, more digital instalment at last. That it still provides analogue thrills is only a pleasure."
To see what else Fisher thinks of the GTI, watch the full video above.
The Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI is priced at R669 300 (before options) and comes standard with a three-year or 120 000km warranty and roadside assistance, a five-year or 90 000km EasyDrive service plan, and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty.
I'm at the long-awaited launch of the #newvwgolfgti @VolkswagenSA have played it coy but Mzansi wants their vrrrpha! And they're getting it for R670k. Meet the 2l TSI Mk8 Golf GTI with 180kW/370Nm, paired to a 7spd dual-clutch DSG. This most digital GTI will do 0-100 in 6.4sec. pic.twitter.com/mk3Eu5kJ5r— Calvin Fisher (@CalvinFisher_ZA) August 13, 2021