Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk8 caught in Pekan, CKD soon?

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Plenty of juicy CKD locally-assembled Volkswagens are on the way, it seems. Yesterday, we shared with you pics of the VW Arteon facelift roaming in Malaysia just two months after the pre-facelift car’s launch; now here’s the Mk8 Golf GTI, spotted in Pekan, Pahang by reader Wan Mohd Saifudin.

Pekan is of course home to Volkswagen’s Malaysian assembly facility, which rolls out the Vento, Passat and Tiguan, with the Tiguan Allspace and Arteon recently joining the list. All variants of the Golf have been CBU fully-imported since day one, but it looks like this will change for the eighth-generation hatchback.

The Mk8 Golf was first revealed to the world in October 2019, but this GTI version only made its debut in February 2020. In fact, it’s so fresh that UK prices were announced just two weeks ago. This is actually the second sighting of the hot hatch in our patch – earlier this week, a dark blue unit was snapped without any disguise in Putrajaya. This red car has tape on its VW and GTI emblems, which isn’t going to fool anyone.

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The Golf GTI has always been the best example of a classy and understated hot hatch, and the Mk8 is no different. We only know it’s a GTI from the twin exhaust pipes – one on each side, they’re sizeable and real. The regular Golf’s pipes aren’t really exhaust tips, but a chrome trim simulates pipes. Where the central ‘GTI’ emblem is, the regular car has ‘Golf’. Also seen on this red example is 18-inch ‘Richmond’ alloys.

The Mk8 Golf GTI is powered by an EA888 2.0L turbo-four with 245 PS and 370 Nm of torque – that’s a jump of 15 PS and 20 Nm from the regular Mk7.5 GTI and on par with the outgoing model’s Performance Pack version. Gearbox options are a six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic, but only the latter will land here, as usual.

Under the skin are MacPherson struts at the front, multilink suspension at the rear, an XDS electronic differential lock and a sports suspension setup that’s 15 mm lower in ride height compared to the standard Golf. New for the Mk8 is a Vehicle Dynamics Manager control system that coordinates the operation of the XDS and the optional DCC adaptive dampers. As you can see the gallery below, all the GTI visual cues are present, but the interior is very screen heavy. How now, hot hatch fans?

GALLERY: Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk8