2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Preview

Rebecca Lindland | Mar 03, 2020
  • Fully redesigned sport compact car
  • Clean, athletic exterior design befitting the history of the nameplate
  • Classic plaid seat cloth in new checked design
  • Turbocharged 4-cylinder with manual or automatic transmission
  • Available Innovision instrumentation and infotainment displays
  • Debuts new We Connect connected services platform
  • On sale in 2021 for model year 2022


The redesigned 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI celebrates the sporty, engaging driving dynamics this iconic nameplate is known for while adding modern technology features.

A turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard, and both a manual gearbox and dual-clutch automatic transmission are planned. As is true with the current GTI, it will have front-wheel drive with Volkswagen’s XDS electronic front differential lock to ensure best performance.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI in red with fog lights on

While equipment levels are not yet announced, it’s likely Volkswagen will keep to a straightforward trim walk similar to the current GTI. Pricing will be announced closer to the car’s on-sale date in 2021.

Exterior Features

Nearly as recognizable as the Volkswagen Beetle, the VW GTI adds some drama for the 2022 model year.

In front, the lower grille features a bold, wide honeycomb pattern with available LED fog lights integrated into the grille’s hexagons for a holistic look. In combination with the furrowed LED headlamp design and classic red GTI accents, Volkswagen has given its hot hatch a sinister and distinctive face.

A set of 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels is standard, with upper trim levels offering 18- or 19-inch wheels. Red painted brake calipers and lettering on the side of the front fender add to the fun and stylish appearance of the new GTI.

In the back, the LED taillight cluster adds to the trendy new design, with the GTI lettering now located directly below the centered VW emblem. A spoiler spans the width of the hatch, elongating the roofline’s appearance. Dual exhaust outlets and a flashy diffuser panel further differentiate the 2022 VW GTI from a standard Golf.

Interior Features

Personality and creativity have always defined the Volkswagen GTI’s interior, and the new car is no different, although the demands of technology cannot be ignored.

For example, while the 6-speed manual gearbox’s timeless golf-ball shifter knob remains, the optional 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission uses an electronic shifter with a Park button. The steering wheel retains its iconic three spokes but adds new multi-functional touch controls.

Naturally, the new GTI has tartan-plaid sport seats with red accents, now checkered in a pattern called Scalepaper. As a nod to the GTI buyer’s sense of style, standard interior background lighting can be personalized with 30 configurable colors.

Other standard features include single-zone automatic climate control, a Press & Drive comfort start system, two USB-C ports, and stainless steel pedal covers.

Optional Features

Volkswagen hasn’t announced the 2022 GTI’s U.S.-specification lineup. Based on the current GTI, you can expect to find leather seats, larger wheel choices, navigation, a premium sound system, digital instrumentation, and other available upgrades for the new GTI.

Under the Hood

A turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine powers the new GTI, making 245 hp and 273 lb.-ft. of torque*. As mentioned, a 6-speed manual transmission is standard, with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic available to those unfamiliar with a clutch pedal.

Several driving modes are available including Comfort, Eco, Sport, and Individual. Comfort gives a more relaxed vehicle character, Eco emphasizes a more efficient drive, and Sport produces a more engaging, dynamic experience. Or, drivers can use the Individual mode to program a combination of vehicle characteristics.


Volkswagen confirms that the redesigned Golf GTI offers several driver assist systems, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and lane-keeping assistance. More details about what comes standard and what will be optional will be available closer to the car’s on-sale date.


With the 2022 GTI, Volkswagen debuts Innovision, which pairs the company’s available 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit instrumentation display with a 10-inch infotainment system touchscreen. Volkswagen also offers new We Connect and We Connect Plus connected services for the new GTI.

Along with the large infotainment screen and We Connect systems, the GTI will offer car-to-X (Car2X) traffic infrastructure and vehicle communication technology. Currently, this capability is available in only a handful of communities but will expand in the years to come. When available, the Car2X system provides real-time traffic conditions, cautions a driver about road or weather hazards, and even notifies a driver about approaching emergency vehicles.

*European specifications. Final numbers for the U.S. market may be different.

Volkswagen is the source of the information in this article, and some specifications and data may pertain only to the European market. The information was accurate as of March 2, 2020 but may have changed since that date.

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