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The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf is destined to hit the marketplace later this year and it’s now believed that the new GTI model will make 260 horsepower.
The German automaker is also claiming that the new GTI will deliver “more agile steering behavior” thanks to a new VAQ electronically-controlled front differential. Apparently a VAQ-equipped Golf has already done a lap at the famed Nürburgring eight seconds faster than prototypes with a standard differential.
If the horsepower rating is correct, GTI enthusiasts and virgins alike will have quite a time racing around in the new model. The current 2012 model only makes 200 horsepower, meaning the refreshed version will have 30 percent more power than its predecessor.
The GTI won’t be the only variant that the new Golf will come in, a plug-in hybrid with 246 horsepower capable of more than 50 mpg is also destined to hit the marketplace along with an electric model, and a natural gas model.
Those looking at the standard Golf models will have plenty of engine choices including a 1.8L and 2.0L standard gasoline engine, a 2.0L diesel with 181-hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, a twin-turbo GTD with 220-hp, and a 1.4L turbo gasoline engine with 138-hp.
GALLERY: 2013 VW Golf MK7 Spy Photos
Volkswagen will produce hybrid versions of the Golf, Jetta and Passat, starting in 2012. In a press release dedicated to the launch of the new Golf blue-e-motion electric car, Volkswagen aims to put the focus on electric cars, which it sees as the future of transportation. However, while German automakers like VW are focused on electric vehicles, many are hedging their bets, and building hybrids as well.
Currently, Volkswagen already offers a hybrid version of its new second-generation Touareg, and in 2012 a Jetta hybrid will arrive. This will be followed in 2013 by hybrid versions of both the Golf and Passat. That same year will see an onslaught of VW’s electric cars. First the Up blue-e-motion city car will launch, followed by the Golf blue-e-motion and then the Jetta blue-e-motion.
The VW Golf and Jetta hybrids are expected to use a powertrain similar to that found in the New Compact Coupe Concept, where a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder makes 148-hp and 177 ft-lbs of torque and is mated to a 27-hp electric motor. When combined with VW’s 7-speed DSG transmission, the NCC achieves an impressive 45 mpg.
Official release after the jump: