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Volkswagen debuts new Golf GTI in Seoul

Sacha Askidjian, head of Volkswagen Korea, poses with the new Golf GTI at a launch event in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
Sacha Askidjian, head of Volkswagen Korea, poses with the new Golf GTI at a launch event in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

Volkswagen Korea debuted the new Golf GTI, the eighth-generation of the German carmaker’s gasoline-powered hot hatch, in Seoul on Tuesday before its official launch next month.

Since its debut in 1976, the Golf GTI has been recognized as a reasonably priced sports car that popularizes the new car segment “hot hatch.”

The upcoming Golf GTI is equipped with the EA888 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine with a maximum horsepower of 245 and a maximum torque of 37.8 kilogram-meters.

The powerful engine is matched with a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission that offers fun driving experience to drivers.

The eighth-generation model’s exterior design accentuates GTI characteristics with red chrome lettering, honeycomb air dam, 19-inch alloy wheels, red brake calipers, and black side skirts.

The new Golf GTI will be launched next month as the finale to this year’s Volkswagen lineup. Its price and detailed product specifications will be revealed then.

"The past year has been a year for Volkswagen Korea to regain its brand's original color in Korea," said Sacha Askidjian, executive director of Volkswagen Korea, during the launch event.

“Today, we are filling our model portfolio with more balance and variety than ever before, and we are doing our best to provide our customers with a variety of choices. We plan to continue our 'accessible premium' strategy next year by introducing models with improved marketability and create Volkswagen's own diverse lineup."

On the same day, Volkswagen Korea also announced the official launch of its premium compact sedan, the new Jetta.

The new Jetta refurnished with a 1.5-liter turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder with a maximum horsepower of 160 and a maximum torque of 25.5 kilogram-meters is offered at a starting price of 32.32 million won ($24,297).

"Adding the new Jetta and the new Golf GTI, our portfolio becomes more comprehensive and more attractive. Now we have three gasoline models, three diesel models, and one EV. As I promised, we have a more balanced model portfolio to meet the different needs of all customers," the executive director added.

By Hong Yoo (