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VW Golf VII GTI revealed

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    Most obvious is the upgrade in power from the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder to the new GTI's 162kW at 4,500 rpm. Photo Gallery

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Volkswagen has revealed the new Golf VII GTI ahead of its Geneva motor show debut.

Sitting across the table from Porsche AG CEO Matthias Mueller once, we asked why the 911 had changed so little in its design over time. He answered simply: you don't mess with what works. Corporate groupmate Volkswagen holds to the same philosophy with its Golf, and the Mark VII model is very close to its predecessor -- at least visually. The all-new GTI brings several important upgrades, however -- and very closely mirrors the concept shown in Paris last year.

Most obvious is the upgrade in power from the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder to the new GTI's 162kW at 4500 rpm. Torque is now 350Nm at just 1500 rpm. An optional factory performance pack -- a first for VW -- can boost that to 169kW, and adds a torque-sensing limited-slip differential plus upgraded performance brakes, with larger vented rotors on all four wheels (13.4-inch in front, 12.2-in at the back). 

A six-speed manual transmission is still standard, and a six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission is also available with either power configuration. With the manual, the 0-100km/h run takes 6.5 seconds (or 6.4 with the performance pack) and top speed is 264km/h (250km/hh with the performance pack). Performance figures for the DSG version haven't yet been released.

A new start-stop system give around an 18 per cent improvement in efficiency, and enables both to reach combined fuel economy of 6.0 L/100km with the manual transmission, while the DSG scores a bit worse at 6.4L and 6.5L for the Performance Pack. Curb weight for the base GTI is 1351kg.

Other standard equipment includes 17-inch "Brooklyn" GTI wheels shod with 225/45 tires, red-painted brake calipers, twin chrome tailpipes, and, of course, a lowered, tauter GTI-tuned suspension. Aesthetic differences from the standard Golf include special aerodynamics at the front, sides, and rear of the car; and smoked LED tail lights.

Inside, the new GTI gets "Clark" tartan pattern on the seats; a black headliner; red ambient lighting; a sport steering wheel; GTI-badged shifter knob and instrument cluster; special trim inserts; and stainless steel pedals.

All GTIs will also include a "progressive" steering system, automatic climate control, park assist, touchscreen infotainment system, and a winter pack with heated front seats. Three colors are available for the GTI: "Tornado Red," "Black," and "Pure White."

The new GTI hits Germany in May, with deliveries to other markets -- including Australia -- starting sometime later this year. There's no firm word yet on local prices, but don't expect it to stray too far from the current model's starting price of $38,990.

www.motorauthority.com

 

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