Next Volkswagen Golf R and GTI Likely to Become Leaner, Meaner, Maybe Greener

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
next volkswagen golf r and gti likely to become leaner meaner maybe greener

As Volkswagen progresses toward electrification and bolsters is court-mandated greener image, concerns arose that enthusiasts might be left to fend for themselves.

Those fears appear to have been entirely unnecessary. With Ford upping the ante with its hot-hatch Focus variants and newcomers like Hyundai’s attractive i30 N planning to enter the market with a minimum of 246 horsepower, VW knew it had to bring more to the table with its Golf. News from Germany indicates Volkswagen’s world-famous hatchback will lose some weight for its eighth generation and gain beefed-up powertrains.

Some have griped that the seventh generation of the GTI didn’t distinguish itself from the previous model’s spec sheet. While driving one usually nullifies those complaints, specifically because the current model’s torque curve is so superb, there’s still room for improvement against its segment rivals.

According to Germany’s Autobild, inside sources at Volkswagen claim the next incarnation of the GTI will come with at least 250 horses under the hood — a 40 hp improvement over today’s model. Assuming a similar increase in torque, the segment progenitor won’t be giving up any ground to its competitors. Similarly, the Golf R is poised to return with the 350 hp needed to match the Ford Focus RS. However, the RS will be out of production by the time the new VW arrives.

Volkswagen hasn’t specified exactly how either vehicle will manage the power increase. However, it has been rumored that at least some of the Mk8 Golfs will use a 48 volt mild-hybrid system for 2019 — with the performance models being the most likely candidates.

[Image: Volkswagen]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.

More by Matt Posky

Join the conversation
5 of 33 comments
  • Fordson Fordson on Jul 17, 2017

    This is so old...everyone who knows anything about the current product offerings from the various makers knows that VW rates their engines extremely conservatively...often making as much or more horsepower at the wheels as they are rated at the crank. There isn't a dime's worth of daylight between the accelerative performance of a GTI and a Focus ST, even though the Focus has 40-some more hp on paper. Similarly, there isn't a dime's worth of daylight between a Golf R and a Focus RS, even though the latter has 58 more horsepower on paper. And that's with 6MT versions of the VWs...the DSG models are even faster. It's a cultural thing...the German makes underrate their engines. How does a 3-series BMW with 330-something hp accelerate almost as quickly as a Mustang GT that has 100 more hp? Answer: it doesn't have 100 more hp.

    • Hreardon Hreardon on Jul 18, 2017

      It's not Rocket Science, Fordson. The domestics understand that horsepower ratings sell cars, regardless of real world performance. Marketing 101.

  • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on Jul 17, 2017

    I'm happy with current power levels, but VW really needs a mechanical LSD in Golf R, don't need a drift mode though. Just a bit of playfulness. Otherwise, I'll stick w/ RWD and winter tires.

  • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on Jul 17, 2017

    VW really needs a mechanical LSD for the R,no top line performance car should have understeer.I'm happy with current power levels.

  • SnarkyRichard SnarkyRichard on Jul 17, 2017

    Just bring the Sirocco over here already . Vee vant vedge , not ze box !