German tuning house Manhart has sprinkled its tuner magic on the eighth-gen VW Golf GTI. In true Manhart tradition, the Golf GTI 290 has an upgraded engine pumping out 290 horsepower, 45 more horses than a stock Golf GTI. More importantly, it also churns out 313 pound-feet of torque, a marginal bump from the stock engine’s 273 pound-feet.
Manhart has yet to divulge the performance numbers. But with more horses and more torque, we reckon this thing will scamper to 60 mph in five seconds (a stock GTI does it in 6.2-seconds with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic).
The modest power bump is courtesy of Manhart’s MHtronik Powerbox module. But other than that, most of the oily bits were left untouched. For instance, the Manhart Golf GTI 290 still has the factory exhaust and stock brakes, although Manhart is open to tuning options for the exhaust and brakes.
However, the exterior is anything but stock. It has red striping as part of Manhart’s decal set. It also gets a rear diffuser to improve downforce. No Manhart creation is complete without a new set of gorgeous alloy wheels, and the golf GTI 290 delivers. It has Manhart Venturi Style Silk Matte Black 19-inch wheels wrapped in sticky 225/35/ZR19 tires.
Underneath, the Manhart Golf GTI 290 has a fresh set of legs. Manhart lowering springs by H&R provide a lower and meaner stance, while nippier handling is courtesy of Manhart’s bespoke suspension tuning. It not only has the power, but this Golf GTI has the bones to match.
That’s not all. The most exciting feature in the Golf GTI 290 is the Manhart sky roof, perhaps inspired by the starlight headliner in a Rolls-Royce. Comprised of many small LED bulbs, we have no idea what this feature is doing in a tuned VW Golf, but we honestly dig it.
We have no word yet on pricing, but Manhart is now accepting orders for the Golf GTI 290. American buyers will have to wait since VW will only start shipping the eighth-gen Golf GTI near the end of 2021 as a 2022 model.