Volkswagen had teased the Golf GTI, GTE and the GTD ahead of their public debut at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show, but now the company has revealed all the three cars and the newly designed and engineered, not to forget fully digitised and networked are ready for the modern era, yet they carry glimpses of a strong 44 year old history. The Golf Mk1 from 1976 has long evolved into a vehicle family. This was followed in 1982 by the first Golf GTD with a turbocharged diesel engine, and in 2014 by the first Golf GTE to feature plug-in hybrid drive. And so it stands to reason that a new Golf GTD and a new Golf GTE are celebrating their world premieres alongside the new Golf GTI. So, yes the three Golf variants cater to the vast audience out there.
All three Golf variants come with standard LED headlights are positioned low down and form a striking crossbar in conjunction with the radiator grille. Towards the top of the bonnet a narrow line spans the front end - red in the case of the GTI, blue for the GTE and silver for the GTD. Once the daytime running lights are activated - when the driver approaches with the key - an LED strip in the headlight mirrors the red, blue or silver line. As standard, the radiator grille is illuminated as a continuation of the LED strip for the first time.
As standard, the radiator grille is illuminated as a continuation of the LED strip for the first time.
You can also notice the large, one-piece lower air intake grille in a honeycomb pattern. It is framed on the outside by a black application, with a striking wing-like design on the sides. The new GTI insignia also include the optional fog lights which are now integrated into the air intake grille in an X-shape. All three models feature wider side skirts sills in black - with a splitter design similar to that found on racing cars. The sills come together to form the front spoiler and the rear diffuser. An individualised spoiler extends the roof line at the very top of the outline. The dominant design element of the side section is the C-pillar, a characteristic element of all versions of the Golf.
The background lighting, which also comes as standard, embeds the displays and all other illuminated interior areas
The new Golf has a powerful shoulder section and striking rear end design. This also benefits the new, sporty models, which are fitted with LED tail light clusters as standard. The GTI, GTE or GTD lettering is now positioned centrally under the Volkswagen emblem rather than on the driver side as it was before. The roof spoiler is extended rearwards and merges with the black edging around the rear window. At the bottom, the sporty diffuser distinguishes the new versions from the other versions of the series. They are also differentiated by the tailpipes of the exhaust systems - the GTI has one tailpipe on the left and one on the right, the GTD has a double tailpipe on the left, and there is no tailpipe in sight on the GTE.
Inside, the Golf variants come with the 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit and the 10-inch navigation system. The background lighting, which also comes as standard, embeds the displays and all other illuminated interior areas (dash panel, door trim, storage compartment with interface for mobile telephone, footwell) in a spectrum of 30 configurable colours. The Golf GTI, which is equipped with a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard, features a brand new GTI gear knob. The GTI is available with an optional, automatic 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG); the GTD comes exclusively with this DSG. The GTE features a 6-speed DSG developed for hybrid drive.
It's a car for the future, so it comes fitted with assist systems including the Lane Assist lane keeping system, Front Assist Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring, XDS electronic differential lock and Car2X (local communication with other vehicles and the traffic infrastructure). Standard digital instruments and an infotainment system to suit the mobile We Connect and We Connect Plus online services and functions that have been integrated here. A multifunction steering wheel, singlezone automatic climate control (Climatronic), the Press & Drive comfort start system, a Bluetooth provision for mobile telephone, LED headlights, LED tail light clusters, LED daytime running lights, LED reading lights and two USBC ports.
Finally let's get down to the drivetrains. The GTI gets a 2-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine which churns out 241 bhp and develops a peak torque of 370 Nm. It comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard. A 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox is available as an option.
As far as the GTE is concerned, the plug-in hybrid gets a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 148 bhp on offer and of course the the hybrid module with an electric motor (85 kW), a 6-speed DSG nd a new lithium-ion battery. The powertrain delivers a maximum power output of 241 bhp and a maximum system torque of 400 Nm. Compared with its predecessor, the all-electric range has increased significantly to now around 60 km. It can be driven at speeds of up to 130 kmph in all-electric mode. When the battery is sufficiently charged, the Golf GTE always starts in all-electric E-MODE. The drive switches to Hybrid mode if the energy capacity of the battery drops below a certain level or if the speed rises above 130 kmph
Finally the GTD. This one gets a 2-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine with an output of 197 bhp and a peak torque of 400 Nm. The TDI already delivers this power at very low engine speeds. As with all the turbocharged diesel engines in the new Golf, the GTD's drive system is linked to two SCR catalytic converters connected in series (SCR = Selective Catalytic Reduction). This new twin dosing SCR system with dual AdBlue injection greatly reduces nitrogen oxide emissions compared with its predecessor. Volkswagen offers the Golf GTD with a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox as standard.