Golf 8 TSI “Highly Unlikely” in the USA, Higher Performance GTI a Possibility

Speaking to journalists earlier today, Volkswagen revealed that the standard Golf 8 TSI was unlikely to come to the US. Hein Schafer, senior vice president of product marketing for Volkswagen of America, said that although there’s still hope for Canadians, the US is likely to only get the Golfs GTI and R.

“I think that it’s highly unlikely that standard version will come to NA,” Schafer said. “The door isn’t closed from a Canadian perspective, but in the US we will only offer the GTI and R.”

This marks a break from VW communications, which have until now been non-committal. This is the first time that VW has confirmed that the standard Golf will no longer be offered in the US.

The reason, according to Schafer, is compact SUVs. The price of a standard Golf would bring it close to smaller SUVs, like the upcoming Tiguan derivative that VW keeps promising us. Volkswagen still believes that there’s a space for hot hatches in the US market.

Indeed, nearly 45% of global Golf GTI and R sales come from North America, meaning that we are an important market for the car. That means that the Golf GTI will get the full complement of power when it arrives on US shores.

No longer will we get slightly down-power versions of the GTI. Instead, says Megan Closset, product manager for the Golf family, the only difference between US and European power levels will be in measurement–PS always looks a little bigger than HP.

That does not necessarily mean that we will get all of the higher power variants, though. Reports lately have focused on the GTI Clubsport and the supposed Golf R+ and although the door isn’t closed on those, the price of homologating them may still mean that VWoA can’t afford to import them.

“I think I can tell you wholeheartedly we are fighting to get into every special model,” said Schafer. “We will continue to try and push. We’re trying to, as closely as possible, mirror Wolfsburg.”