Volkswagen design head shares details behind 2022 Golf GTI development


The Volkswagen Golf is arguably one of the most iconic cars made and manufactured by the German automotive marque. Now on its eighth generation, the Volkswagen Golf has had several facelifts which helped the 47-year-old nameplate keep up with the times.

Volkswagen Group Design Head Klaus Zyciora shared his thoughts about how the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI’s sophisticated design came to be.

“The all-new GTI is a design statement. It merges a dynamic, sporty character with uncompromising functionality. We wanted to show that the GTI in its eighth generation has made a huge leap forward in performance,” said Zyciora.

According to Volkswagen, the 2022 Golf GTI will be based on an updated version of the MQB platform. Each of the exterior panels has been redesigned which makes the new Golf GTI more aggressive.


Its front fascia now features a slim red line that harks back to the first-generation GTI. The red strip runs across the front section under the edge of the bonnet. The single-piece radiator grille showcases the iconic GTI honeycomb design and is bordered by a black appliqué coupled with a striking wing-like design on the sides.

On each side are LED headlights with an LED strip that mirrors the red line when the daytime running lights are activated, or when the driver approaches with the key.

An optional LED strip in the grille connects the headlights and the VW logo and creates what VW says an “unmistakable light signature.”

Standard fog lamps also frame the sides of the grille alongside the LED headlights. The fog lamps have been integrated into the air intake grille in an “X” formation.


“The new Golf GTI boasts a very low visual center of gravity, which we achieved through the wide air intakes at the front and the striking shoulder line. The connection between upper grille element and headlights is much more precise, elongated even into the fenders, giving the car a much more concentrated and sportier look,” explained Zyciora.

Its C-pillars are now complemented by a redesigned rear shoulder section and the roof spoiler was also made to extend towards the rear. The 2022 Golf GTI has undergone extensive aerodynamic bodywork from the mirrors and roof spoiler to less visible pieces which result in a drag coefficient of 0.275.

VW made three new aluminum-alloy wheels for the 2022 Golf GTI: an 18-inch, five-spoke polished metal design, an optional 18-inch multi-spoke gloss black wheel, and an optional 19-inch black multi-spoke design with diamond-turned surfaces.

“We wanted to offer a bright, exciting color to herald the next generation of GTI. We’ve had some fun colors for past GTI generations, like Montana Green, Ginster Yellow, Rave Green, Magma Orange, and Cornflower Blue, to name a handful. Pomelo Yellow Metallic will mark the launch of the Mk 8 GTI in an instantly recognizable way,” said US Volkswagen Golf GTI Product Manager Megan Closset.

The 2022 Golf GTI’s cabin has also be redesigned and now features a future-forward cockpit with a few touches that are reminiscent of its rich heritage. Taking center stage is the Golf GTI’s digital displays which the automaker says can be had in either the standard 8.25-inch Composition Media or the 10-inch Discover Pro infotainment system.


The three-spoke steering wheel has been refined with touch-sensitive controls and features a red GTI accent at the bottom spoke.


New sports seats inside the 2022 Golf GTI will be lined in standard cloth fabric featuring red seams with grey and black tartan. The entirety of the interior will have red stitching and edging.


Illumination will be standard on the dash panel, door trim, storage compartment with an interface for a mobile telephone, and footwell. Owners can choose from 30 configurable colors or select pre-loaded ambient colors.

Zyciora said, “when you drive the car with its new performance features, you are opening up a new world of experience on the digital side. Our central display featuring our touch sliders aims for iterative control and will be a huge leap forward for our customers.”

“Each member of our team is aware of the responsibility on their shoulders when developing a new Golf GTI. Evolving an icon like this is an enormous challenge, but also the most exciting thing that can happen to you as a designer. I think that we have done a particularly good job,” Zyciora concluded.

Photos from Volkswagen

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