Thursday brought the eighth-generation 2020 Volkswagen Golf into the world, but those of us here taking it all in from North America can't really celebrate. VW still hasn't made its mind up on whether the standard hatchback will be sold on these shores, but we know for certain we'll get the new Golf GTI and the even racier Golf R.
Thankfully, we shouldn't have to wait too long, because according to VW itself, the new GTI and R are coming "over the course of the next year." That's one of the few mentions made of the GTI and R in the automaker's 2020 Golf announcement, but it's good to hear something about the US-bound hot hatches.
For odd reasons I can't explain, the GTI actually outsells the standard Golf hatchback pretty regularly in the US. It's probably one reason why VW was comfortable saying it's definitely coming to America, while the standard Golf remains in limbo. Hopefully, VW's mentioned timeline for the GTI and R isn't exclusively for Europe, though.
Obviously, today wasn't about the Golf GTI or the R, so there aren't any major details mentioned. But, the company did slip in that a 2.0-liter engine will power both the GTI and the R. There will also be another GTI TCR, too.
With a 2.0-liter engine confirmed, it's very safe to say there will be modest updates to the same 2.0-liter turbo-four the Golf GTI and Golf R employ today. Kick the tires on a 2019 GTI and you'll find 228 horsepower on tap, while the R lays down 288 hp. Buried in the announcement, VW says the most powerful gasoline engine in this latest-generation Golf will make 296 hp. Sounds like Golf R territory to me.
Improvements to the running gear will almost certainly lead to higher power numbers, but aside from that little piece of info, we can't even speculate about where the next GTI and R will land. If the range-topping R wants to play ball with the Honda Civic Type R, it needs to hover around 300 hp. The 296-hp figure seems like a good start. For the GTI, it's pretty darn good today, so it's hard to imagine any insane power bump finding its way to what is already a darn-near-perfect daily driver.