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 |  Oct 29 2012, 4:16 PM

GTI Preview

Of course you can’t mention the high-volume Golf without bringing up its performance doppelganger, the GTI. Teased as a “concept” at the Paris Motor Show in September, it’s unlikely the production version will stray too far.

As you’d expect, the bodywork has been subtly tweaked. The GTI’s front end features mesh grille inserts, while it also sits lower, features bigger brakes for eradicating Autobahn speed and has sportier wheels and tires.

In the mechanical department the engine has been modestly upgraded. VW’s smooth-running 2.0-liter turbo delivers an extra 10 horsepower compared to the outgoing model, making for a total of 220. An optional factory performance upgrade should crank that figure up to 230.

A limited-slip differential would really help put that added power to the ground. Today’s car uses the brakes to simulate a true LSD, but will one be offered as standard equipment in the future? According to Gillies “we haven’t really finalized what equipment and specs we’re going to get,” adding that a true LSD is something they’d like to bring to the U.S.

Signed, sealed and awaiting delivery, the GTI will launch concurrently with the Golf, which means early 2014.