The all-new VW Golf GTI will make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show next week, and doesn’t it look smooth in all white, with aggressive black and red GTI highlights. Classic GTI style then, and with well over 200bhp

VW Golf GTI Feature

This year’s Geneva Motor Show is shaping up with a pretty decent look. The land of tasty pointy chocolate and clocks that say ‘cuckoo’ will be hosting some very special first-time-sees in 2013, and while its not some kind of incredible rocketship like the new McLaren P1 hypercar, a new VW Golf GTI is always interesting to us driving types. And having driven the mark 7 Golf chassis quite extensively, Motor-Vision fully expects the new GTI to be a right little stormer. The GTI will be joined by its hot diesel Golf cousin, the GTD, too.

It’s true that the seventh-generation Golf doesn’t look hugely different to the car it replaces, but it is all-new and – probably most importantly of all – it’s lighter. Lighter and stiffer, so engines and suspension systems don’t have to work so hard hauling lardy weight around, and that’s what it was all about with the very first GTI engineering philosophy. Things got a bit chubby for a while after the mark 1 GTI, but with the last couple of cars we’ve been right back on track. Sharp, if not shouty looks, firm but fair road holding, and a nice big dollop of turbo power.

For 2013 and onwards, the Golf GTI is powered by a turbocharged direct-injection petrol engine (TSI) with 218bhp, or, for a bit more pep, a GTI Performance model is available with more mumbo, right from the factory. The GTI Performance gets an extra 10bhp, while both models enjoy a rich 350Nm of torque. The standard GTI hits 62mph in 6.5 seconds, top speed at 152mph. Sorry, 152mph in a hatchback? Wow! The GTI Performance pushes on even harder, to 155mph, and knocks out 62mph in a blurry 6.4 seconds. All this for around £25k for the new GTI.

Apex-junkies take note; the GTI Performance with 228bhp also gets bigger front brake discs – up from 312mm to 340mm – and a mechanical limited-slip differential. No rough pricing for the Performance as yet, but it’s got to be around the £27k mark for those extra track-ready goodies.

Economy is moving in the right direction too, with the lighter new Golf some 18 per cent more efficient that the car it replaces. A stop/start system also helps here. With a 6-speed manual gearbox, the GTI gets 47mpg on the combined economy test; CO2 at 139g/km. Not bad for a 152mph car!

Outside, we see the frontal aggression the 7th Golf is getting famous for, but with the added GTI-red grille highlight line and plenty of extra black through the sharp and deep front bumper, and those scowling tinted headlights. The car in these pics wears 17s, but we’ll get 18-inch alloys as standard in the UK, and of a different style. There’s always the aftermarket if these 18s aren’t to your taste, with a nice set of expensive-looking 19-inch alloys surely looking truly fine on this already classy-looking new GTI. It’s already sitting low on sport suspension.

Treats inside include sports seats with the classic tartan cloth upholstery, plus GTI-only sports steering wheel, gear lever and instrument cluster, trim strips and stainless steel pedal trims. Looks tidy to me, and not too long to wait either, with VW dealers taking GTI orders in late March; deliveries due in June.

 

By Dan Anslow

 

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