It feels like we just got the seventh-generation 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI family here in America, but VW is already giving it some major updates. You’ll need a keen eye to spot those differences on the outside, but there are some big changes in the cabin and under the hood. Also, more power for our beloved GTI version.
The MK7 Golf family has been on sale in Europe since 2013, and today VW has revealed the European 2017 models; we will see most of these variants here as 2018 vehicles.
Obviously missing from the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI engine lineup is the 2.0-liter TDI motor. What will be available is a 1.5-liter turbo in the Golf and the 2.0 liter TSI unit for the GTI. The 1.5 turbo makes 145 horsepower.
But the GTI gets some notable improvements. Power is up from 210 HP to 227 HP, and the Performance Package goes from 230 HP to 245 HP. That’s pretty excellent.
On the outside things get a little sharper as it looks the new LED lights are concentrating really hard on something.
The biggest upgrade on the new car is the fully digital “Active Info Display” instrumentation panel and its huge infotainment screen.
The center stack unit is now a giant 9.2 inches. For the first time ever on a Volkswagen model, you can get gesture control on what VW calls the “Discover Pro” system, only available on the fully loaded models.
The upgraded infotainment units feature high-definition graphics with customizable colors and the navigation view will be available in both 2D and 3D.
As of now, we are not sure which specific features will make it stateside, as these upgrades are for European spec vehicles. Last time around, VW gave us a smaller infotainment compared to across the pond, so it’s possible some of the advanced systems and upgrades may not be available to us. But seeing as how these are key updates and the car market is increasingly tech-driven, our chances may be good.