VW NA Boss Says GTI Not Going Anywhere

With all of the electrification going on at Volkswagen, it’s only natural for enthusiasts to wonder what will happen to performance cars like the Golf GTI. Well, good news, everyone! VW North America CEO Scott Keogh says that the GTI is very important to the brand.

“Right now, the GTI is the heart and soul of our brand,” he told Carbuzz. “However, I’m not naïve that the segment is getting smaller but I’m also not naïve to the fact that we gotta hang on to [the GTI].”

For an example of VW’s commitment to performance, look no further than the just-revealed Jetta GLI. That car actually saw improvements to make it more-GTI like instead of decontented like the previous car.

Says Keogh:

“One of the things I’m proud of is that I think we did the right job with that Jetta (the new GLI) by basically matching it up to a GTI. Same drivetrain, same brakes up front. I actually see more opportunities to do that. That platform is used in some other places. I won’t give away anything. But I think that is a brand to Volkswagen that even if the volume is small it is our most loyal people, our most enthusiast people. And you can see it right away. The instant we announced that GLI look at all of the credibility we got. People were like ‘they did it. They finally matched [the Jetta] up.’ So I think it’s a strategy we can match again.”

So that could mean even more GTI-like performance models. Though Keogh understandably didn’t go into it more deeply.

“We will be bringing the eighth-generation Golf. That will have a GTI,” Keogh added. “We’re 100 percent on board. Right now GTI will stay GTI. We need these types of cars.”