Volkswagen has revealed the sticker price of its new Golf 8 GTI and like the performance of the hot hatch, the price could well take your breath away.

To get into Vee-Dub’s perennial standard bearer, you’ll need to stump up $53,100 plus on-roads — or close to $60,000 by the time you get it on the road.

To put this in perspective, the previous limited edition Golf GTI TCR was $51,490, while the GTI Mark 7.5 introduced in February, 2017 was priced from $41,490 — or $43,990 with a twin clutch auto.

After they dropped the manual two years later, the price jumped to $47,990 driveaway.

Interestingly, Golf GTI Mark VII, introduced in August, 2013, was also $41,490 and the twin clutch auto, $43,990.

So, what do you get for your money this time around?

Well, it looks a little different. Not too much mind, because VW learned that particular lesson the hard way with the Mark V and its abundance of plastic cladding.

But in the all important performance stakes, which is the main reason people buy the car when you get down to it — there’s no more power on the table.

The 2.0-litre turbocharged engine is a carryover, with outputs of 180kW and 370Nm, as is the 7-speed ‘wet’ clutch DSG transmission — and sadly the manual has not made a return.

With five doors and drive to the front wheels, the dash from 0-100km/h takes 6.3 seconds and it uses a claimed 7.0L/100km of the good stuff.

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Inside, there’s plenty of distracting eye candy, with a large 10.25-inch touchscreen and sweeping configurable digital dash.

The Innovision Cockpit that debuted in the Touareg combines Digital Cockpit Pro with the 10.0-inch Discover Pro navigation system.

Then there’s the new IQ.DRIVE, which we’re told endows the car with “near” fully autonomous open road capability.

But wait a sec, aren’t GTI buyers the kind of people who like to do the driving themselves — isn’t that the point?

There’s a few other bits and bobs, but that’s about the size of it.

The question is: are the changes incremental or will they be enough to push sales beyond the GTI Mark 7/7.5 — the most popular version since the original in 1976.

One thing’s for sure, the Golf GTI has no shortage of very good, often cheaper competitors these days.

But when it comes to the GTI there is a certain je ne sais quoi to be reckoned with . . .

“The art that continues to elude the GTI’s imagined competitors is a car that is as civilised in daily deployment as you choose, but which can be an accomplished sports car when you wish,” Volkswagen Australia boss Michael Bartsch said.

“It is these virtues, coupled with a classic rather than kitsch design and the latest in on-board technology, that will ensure the GTI and, next year, the Golf R Mark 8, continue to outsell rivals by a great margin.”

There’s also two option packs available for the GTI that will certainly push the price beyond the $60K barrier.

Sound & Vision is $1500 (Head Up, Harman Kardon sound) or the Luxury package is $3800 (leather, heated/vented seats, power adjust driver’s seat, heated steering wheel and panoramic sunroof).

Colours include Pure White, Moonstone Grey Premium, Dolphin Grey Metallic, Atlantic Blue Metallic or Deep Black Pearl Effect. Or, for $300, Kings Red Premium Metallic.

And, it’s available with a Care Plan for five years at $2300 (saving the cost of the first scheduled service) or three years at $1450.

Golf GTI 8 goes on sale May 24.

 

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Golf GTI: The price of love

Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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