The new, eighth-generation Volkswagen GTI made its debut back in February, but it’s going to be a long time before enthusiasts will be able to get orders in.
On a media conference call today, Megan Closset, product manager for the Golf family in North America, confirmed that the Mk8 GTI will likely come to the U.S. in the third quarter of 2021 as a 2022 model-year car.
That’s a long way off, but there’s precedent here—the Mk7 GTI debuted back in early 2013, but didn’t go on sale in the U.S. until well over a year later. And there’s good news—Volkswagen is keeping the Mk7 GTI at its Puebla, Mexico factory for the 2021 model year, so there won’t be a gap in GTI availability.
Interestingly, Volkswagen won’t build American-market Mk8s in Mexico. As the base Golf isn’t likely going to be offered in North America, VW decided to instead export GTIs and Golf Rs from Wolfsburg, Germany.
Now some bad news. Volkswagen set the Q3 2021 launch date for the Mk8 GTI before the coronavirus crisis began to have a huge effect on the automotive world, and it’s possible that it might be delayed even further. VW says there could be snags with getting the car homologated for the U.S. as a result of the crisis, so the brand isn’t saying definitively that the Q3 2021 launch is a go. Folks at VW are hopeful they won’t have to push the date back, but it’s too early to say now.
Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, because the GTI is our sort of car—affordable, refined, yet still fun to drive. The Mk7 sets our hopes high for the Mk8.
Check back tomorrow for more tech details on the Mk8 GTI. It’s a fascinating car.
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