Volkswagen GTI Concept revealed

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Volkswagen's GTI is the stuff of legend, and with a new MkVII Golf almost upon us it's only natural that the German automaker would update its iconic hot hatch too. Introduced yesterday in Paris, VW gives us a sneak peek at the next model to carry the brand's compact tuner torch with the GTI Concept.

Call this one a thinly veiled concept or even a prototype if you want. Either way, the GTI Concept is mostly what you'll see rolling up next to you at the stoplight in a year's time. Only don't pick a fight without first knowing what's under the hood, mind you. The GTI Concept, at least, sports a 217-horsepower version of VW's turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which incidentally is 17-horsepower more than what's currently offered.

More power is good, but what about fuel economy? Volkswagen promises an 18-percent improvement with the next-gen GTI, for what is claimed to be 6.0 L/100km combined city/highway.

As for styling, VW will likely get mixed reviews for the '80s slant-nose 911 Turbo cum Testarossa style cheese grater slats along the GTI Concept's lower fascia, although the trademark thin red line running across the grille and into the headlight clusters is a nice touch, as is the heavily sculpted hood. Biggest kudos might need to go to the restyled wheels, however, having tossed the executioner's axe head design for something more appealing overall. From the back, the new GTI Concept sports the clean, elegant lines of the MkVII Golf complemented by a tasteful rooftop spoiler, plus a nice and tidy lower fascia featuring an integrated diffuser with dual chrome tailpipes.

Inside, the GTI Concept boasts all of the upgrades made available with the MkVII Golf, along with the classic GTI tartan motif. Leather will be optional of course. As far as additional standard and available features go, we'll have to wait for the production model to surface.

If this GTI Concept is anything to go by, the upcoming Golf GTI should be even more enticing than the already well-received outgoing GTI. Stay tuned.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Volkswagen, VW, GTI Concept, 2012, Compact, Hatchback,

Organizations: Volkswagen, GTI

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