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After a couple of local sightings, Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) has teased the Mk8 Golf GTI on Instagram, hinting that the hot hatch is coming soon to our market. “What happens next? Fight or Flight?” Fight, of course – bring it on, we say!

Earlier this month, a red Mk8 Golf GTI was spotted in Pekan wearing light disguise. 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 soon.

That was actually the second sighting of the hot hatch in our patch – before the red car, a dark blue unit was snapped without any disguise in Putrajaya, and it even had the Hicom plant’s ‘OK’ stickers on it. I think it’s a given that the Mk8 Golf GTI’s local introduction is around the corner – the only question now is how far ahead is that corner.

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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 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 that simulates pipes. Where the central ‘GTI’ emblem is, the regular car has ‘Golf’. Also seen on the red example above are 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. What do you think of the Mk8 Golf GTI versus the outgoing version?