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2021 Volkswagen Golf Is Here With New Looks and a Bunch of Tech

Brian Silvestro
Photo credit: Volkswagen

From Road & Track

After numerous leaks, spy shots, and rumors, Volkswagen has revealed the eighth generation of its iconic Golf hatchback today in Wolfsburg, Germany. The car sports a redesigned fascia and a ton of new tech, though it's still not confirmed for the U.S. market.

A Volkswagen spokesperson reaffirmed that while the new Golf's availability in the US has not been decided, the high-performance GTI and Golf R variants will be sold stateside. Hot hatch enthusiasts, you don't have to worry.

The new Golf uses much of the same proportions from the previous model, incorporating a more aggressive headlight shape and a thinner, lower grille. The rear fascia also gets a light redesign, with more angular taillights and a set of fake exhaust exits on either corner of the bumper (a dumb trend, we know).

Inside is where the big improvements have been made, with a more simplified, streamlined dashboard rocking a central infotainment touchscreen that controls everything from the radio to the climate control. The gauge cluster has also been made digital.

The Mk 8 Golf will get four gasoline engines and two diesel power plants at launch, all of which use turbocharging and direct injection. Thankfully, a six-speed manual remains standard. Volkswagen's seven-speed DSG dual-clutch is optional, and the shifter looks a lot like the one found on the new 2020 Porsche 911.

In addition to the pure combustion engine drivetrains, there are three mild-hybrid options that pair a selection of gas engines to a 48-volt lithium-ion battery system. They feature regenerative braking and come with the DSG as standard.

There's also two plug-in hybrid models, one 201-horsepower model geared towards maximum range, and a high-performance 245-horsepower GTE model angled towards performance. Both pair a 1.4-liter gas engine to an electric-drive motor and a six-speed DSG transmission.

The only info VW gave us on the next GTI and Golf R powertrain is that they'll use 2.0-liter inline turbocharged engines, just like the current models. The diesel-powered GTD will also make a return.

Unsurprisingly, the 2021 Mk 8 Golf is packed with new tech, including a slew of safety systems, sensors, and assisted driving up to 130 mph. There's also something called Car2X, which allows the car's computer to communicate with other cars within half a mile if they also have Car2X, sharing info on things like road hazards, traffic, and construction.

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