27 February 2013 ~ 0 Comments

More power, two trims – new Golf GTI debuts at Geneva motor show

2013 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Following the pre-Geneva motor show announcement of the Golf GTD, Volkswagen has, unsurprisingly, released details of another Swiss débutante – the latest Golf GTI. And it differs quite considerably from its outgoing Mk 6 predecessor. Available for the first time in standard and ‘Performance’ versions, the new car is once again powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged TSI engine, but that’s where any technical similarities end. The 1351kg Mk 7 GTI develops 217bhp in standard form, but the ‘GTI Performance’ version boasts 227bhp, larger brake discs and a front limited-slip differential.

Both versions develop 258lb ft of torque, with the standard Golf GTI sprinting to 62mph from rest in 6.5 seconds and onto 152mph. The ‘GTI Performance’ has a 3mph higher top speed and cuts 0.1 seconds off the benchmark sprint time. The pair also now feature concessions to economy with Stop/Start systems and EU-6 emissions technology. Economy hasn’t always been high on the sporting Golf’s agenda, but Volkswagen states that the latest standard version of the iconic hatchback posts 47mpg and low 139g/km emissions when specified with a six-speed manual gearbox.

The discreet features that have distinguished the Golf GTI for over 36 years remain in place. A red trim line on the grille extends neatly into the headlights, while the brake calipers are painted in a similar shade, and peep through new 18-inch ‘Austin’ alloy wheels (much less distinctive than the Mk 5 and 6’s ‘Monza’ rims in our opinion). There are also special side sills, a rear diffuser, twin exhausts, smoked LED tail lights and LED numberplate lamps to beef up the Mk 7 Golf’s sharp new suit. UK specification will include bi-xenon headlamps complete with LED daytime running lights.

Interior highlights include sports seats with classic tartan cloth upholstery, black rooflining and fashionable red ambience lighting. GTI drivers will also appreciate the bespoke sports steering wheel, gear lever and instrument cluster, trim strips and stainless steel pedal caps. UK Volkswagen Retailers start taking orders for the new GTI on 26 March, with the first deliveries due in June. Final UK pricing and detailed specification are yet to be confirmed, but are expected to start at £25,845 for the standard three-door manual car, with ‘GTI Performance’ models around £1000 more.

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