That means an updated version of the Audi-developed EA888 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine used in the existing Mk7 Golf GTI. Again, like the current car, it will be offered with two power outputs: a standard output of around 242bhp and a more powerful 287bhp model, which will replace the MK7 Performance version.
Although it was previously thought that the latter variant would wear the TCR badge, VW's decision to leave the racing series as part of its plans to end all combustion-engined motorsport means it will go by the Clubsport name instead.
An increase in torque beyond the 258lb ft and 273lb ft of today’s two versions of the GTI is claimed to establish new levels of performance. In the case of the higher-spec model, it is said the 0-62mph time will be less than 6.0sec and the top speed 155mph. Gearbox choices will include carry-over versions of today’s six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch items.
As recently as late 2018, VW had planned to switch the Golf GTI to mild-hybrid power as the performance flagship of a new range of IQ-badged petrol-electric mild-hybrid models.
That system is also based around the EA888 engine. However, it will not be used on the Golf GTI, under the instruction of VW Group chairman Herbert Diess, who reversed the decision of his predecessor Matthias Müller.
The transversely mounted 2.0-litre four-cylinder powerplant will be mated to an electric motor and 48V electrical architecture. It is a setup that VW plans to mirror on the smaller 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel units used on the new Mk8 Golf.
The original plan had been to improve the Golf GTI’s low-end response with electric boosting. Additionally, the technology was to bring a coasting function that idles the engine on a trailing throttle and a recuperation system that harvests kinetic energy during braking. However, VW’s about-turn on hybrid technology should lead to the new GTI having a similar character to today’s car.
2020 VW Golf GTI: chassis and underpinnings
The new Golf GTI is underpinned by a further-developed version of the existing model’s MQB platform, using a MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension in combination with adaptive damping control.
Engineers involved in the new car’s development say a lot of attention has been focused on steering accuracy. The electro-mechanical set-up of the outgoing model has been heavily reworked to provide it with added levels of feedback and a more direct ratio.