Volkswagen’s GTi took forever to go on sale in SA, and those waiting for the range-topping R model have been left more disappointed than that proverbial fat kid who dropped his ice cream. The Golf 8 GTI destined for SA has only been available in a single derivative. Amongst the decent list of standard features we find things like the 18-inch Richmond alloy wheels, a Lights & Vision Package with high-beam control light assist, the usual VW Climatronic aircon, a heated leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel with touch control (not a selling point), shift paddles, a keyless lock and start system, some fancy infotainment features and a rather nice set of GTI Vienna leather seats. With the Golf GTI being the flagship model (under the lesser-spotted R) quality leather seats are par for the course. See what I did there?
There’s a whole lot of local VW fans who were dead set on a new GTi 8 or 8R but supply chain issues and have meant delays that have seen pre-orders cancelled and buyers either opting for other model in the VW family, like the Tiguan R or crossing over to things like the Korean’s coolest hot hatch, the i30N. We even know some people that have crossed over to Audi and even Toyota in the form of the latest Supra. On the late arrival, Steffen Knapp, Head of the Volkswagen Passenger Car Brand previously commented: “The Volkswagen Group has been impacted by the global shortage of the semiconductor chips and all vehicles built on the MQB platform have been affected. For this reason, the launch of the Golf 8 GTI in South Africa will now move to the third quarter. We are working closely with our German counterparts to ensure that we get as many Golf 8 GTI units for the local market as possible. A few Golf 8 GTI units started arriving in the country from mid-April. These units will be stockpiled until we have enough vehicles for the launch at the beginning of the third quarter (of 2021).” So we’re now starting to finally see more of the GTI on the streets, even though it’s basically ready for an update.
This version of the Mk 8 GTI has been dubbed as the Jacara Edition, and it’s available from showroom floors countrywide and it actually retails for R16 700 less when compared to the Golf GTI derivative with the leather seats option at R716 500, leathers are priced at R733 200. It comes with the usual 3-year/120 000km warranty, 5-year/ 90 000km EasyDrive Service Plan and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty.
Take a look at the YouTube video from the awesome chaps at Cars.co.za from back when they tested the Mk8 GTi: Golf 8 GTI Review - We finally drive the latest Volkswagen in South Africa (and on track!) | Cars.co.za
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