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.
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