The GTI continues to be the Golf's core hot hatch, sitting above the regular range with an MSRP of $53,100.
The GTI's key selling point is its more powerful 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder (EA888) engine which produces 180kW/370Nm. It drives the front wheels via a carryover seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The manual does not return for the eighth-generation.
Performance enhancements over the regular Golf range also include tweaked suspension, a front differential lock, dual sports exhaust, and a unique body kit.
Explore the 2021 Volkswagen Golf range
Elsewhere the standard suite of a 10.25-inch digital dash, 10.0-inch multimedia touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android auto connectivity, wireless charging, built-in navigation and digital radio, unique 18-inch alloy wheels, bespoke cloth interior trim with signature tartan seats, LED head and taillights, tri-zone climate, as well as keyless entry and push-start ignition.
The full 'IQ Drive' safety suite features from the rest of the range, including freeway speed auto emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, safe exit warning, adaptive cruise control, and emergency assist.
The GTI carries VW's five year and unlimited kilometre warranty promise, with affordable service packs coming in slightly above the regular range at $1400 for three years or $2450 for five years.