Still unconfirmed as a production model, the near-finished seventh-generation Golf GTI just hit the Paris Motor Show floor.
Volkswagen isn’t ready to call it the model that will make it to production, but the brand also offered key information: its horsepower ratings. Just like its less-engaging Golf sibling, the GTI will run on VW’s new MQB architecture. For the Golf, that means a 220-lb weight savings.
VW didn’t discuss how many pounds the GTI will shed, but it’s likely to be a similar figure. Apart from talking chatting with Jenny Craig, so to speak, the GTI also hit the gym. In its coming generation the base car grows to 220 hp (10 more than before), but customers will also be able to choose the performance version with yet another 10-hp boost for a total 230.
Gearbox options will stay the same with the choice between a six-speed manual or DSG, and VW will also introduce its new “progressive steering” when the GTI goes on sale.
Other steering systems use a constant ratio, but the new VW system changes to reduce needed steering wheel rotation in tight spaces like parking lots.
Just as any enthusiast will tell you, though, the GTI isn’t about parking — it’s about tight corners and responsive handling – two things that could improve by riding on the new MQB framework.
Dates are still ambiguous, but the new Golf is expected for North American sale in mid 2014, meaning it would be reasonable to expect the GTI version late that year or early 2015.