The seventh generation Volkswagen Golf GTI has been initially previewed by a very cool Golf VII GTI Concept unveiled in 2012 at the Paris Auto Show, but now is time to finally see the production version at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
The seventh generation Golf GTI brings some major updates for the model: next to exterior and interior updates, the new GTI is being offered for the first time in two different power levels: a standard GTI and a Performance version that increases the final output by 10 horsepower. Also, despite being more powerful than the previous generation, the new GTI is also more fuel efficient: an improvement of about 18%.
On the German market the seventh generation Golf GTI will be priced at 28,350 euro - about $37,00 at the current exchange rates.
UPDATE 02/27/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs. Hit the jump to read more about the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI.
The production version remains pretty much identical to the concept we saw in Paris, meaning that on the exterior we will see the same honeycomb grille with a red line striking through it, all-new Bi-Xenon headlamps and a stylish front lip that boasts louvered vents on each side.
The new GTI version also offers special side sills, a diffuser and smoked LED taillights (including LED license plate illumination), plus two chrome tailpipes for the sporty exhaust system.
Customers will have the possibility to choose from three standard body colors: "Tornado Red", "Black" and "Pure White."
The interior also delivers a sportier feeling, thanks to the addition of new sport seats wrapped in tartan pattern, a black headliner and red ambiance lighting.
Just like any other GTI, the new generation is offered with a sport steering wheel, GTI gear shift grip and instrument cluster, special trim strips, and stainless steel pedals and foot support.
Under the hood, the new Golf GTI houses a 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection engine offered in two power levels. In the standard version, it delivers a total of 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, while the Performance version is increased by 10 horsepower to a total of 230 horsepower. The engine is mated to a standard six-speed manual gearbox or an optional dual-clutch six-speed automatic.
The standard version will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and up to a top speed of 152 mph, while the Performance version is a little bit faster: 0 to 60 mph in just 6.4 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph.
Despite being more powerful than the model it replaces, the new GTI is about 18 percent more fuel efficient. This improvement has been possible by the addition of a new stop-start system. With the manual gearbox, the GTI will deliver a fuel consumption of 6 liters/100 km (39.2 mpg) and with the optional 6-speed DSG, 6.4 for the standard version and 6.5 liters/100 km (36.1 mpg) for the Performance version.
| Engine || 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol direct-injection |
| Power || 169 kW / 230 horsepower from 4,700 to 6,200 rpm |
| Torque || 350 Nm / 258 pound-feet from 1,500 to 4,600 rpm |
| 0 to 60 mph || 6.4 seconds |
| Top speed || 155 mph |
Suspensions and brakes
The sporty character of the new GTI is further accentuated by the addition of new sport suspension and a set of 17-inch "Brooklyn" GTI wheels wrapped in 225/45 tires.
The model is also equipped with a high-performance brake system that features ventilated discs and traditional red-painted calipers.
In the German market, the seventh-generation Golf GTI will be priced at €28,350 (about $37,000 at the current exchange rates).
When it comes to competition, the list is pretty much the same, except that, just like with the GTI, its competitors got better.
Ford Focus ST
The new Focus ST is one of the models that made a sensation on the market. It uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that pumps out 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. As you can see, it has about 20 more horsepower than the GTI, but when it comes to look, we prefer the GTI.
We have to admit, Mazdaspeed3 is on the top of our list, but we would really like seeing an update in the near future. It uses a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 263 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. This model is also more powerful than the GTI, but we are bored by its look. We will need to wait and see what the new generation will bring.
Volkswagen surprised us with the new-generation Golf GTI, but not with the car’s look. We are talking, of course, about the two different engine levels, but we are more than sure than 99 percent of the customers will go for the Performance version.
Two different engine levels
More powerful than previous model
No prices for the U.S. market
At the Volkswagen company, the letters “GTI” have stood for superior dynamic performance for over three decades now. In the tradition of previous models by the same name, Volkswagen is introducing the latest version of the Golf GTI at the Geneva International Motor Show. For the first time, the legendary compact sports car is available at two power levels: the standard 220 PS or the GTI Performance with 230 PS and front axle differential lock.
The new GTI is powered by a turbocharged petrol direct-injection engine (TSI) with 162 kW / 220 PS. For the first time in the history of the sports car icon, a special GTI Performance will be offered. In this version, the engine’s maximum power is boosted to 169 kW / 230 PS. Both GTI versions develop a maximum torque of 350 Nm. The standard GTI accelerates to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 246 km/h. The GTI Performance reaches a top speed of 250 km/h and just 6.4 seconds for the sprint to 100 km/h.
Both GTI versions are equipped with a Stop-Start system, they fulfil the EU-6 emissions standard that takes effect in 2014 and – with a 6-speed gearbox – they attain the same low DIN fuel consumption value of 6.0 l/100 km (CO2: 139 g/km). This means that the Golf GTI offers an 18 per cent improvement in fuel economy compared to the previous model. With the optional 6-speed DSG, the two GTI cars consume 6.4 and 6.5 l/100 respectively (equivalent to 148 and 150 g/km CO2).
The sporty character of the Golf GTI is reflected in its traditional red-painted brake callipers, two chrome tailpipes and a sport suspension. The exterior of the compact sports car also scores with 17-inch “Brooklyn” GTI wheels and 225/45 size tyres, special side sills, a diffuser and smoked LED rear lights (including LED licence plate illumination).
Visual highlights in the interior are top sport seats in tartan pattern (“Clark”), a black roofliner and red ambience lighting.
The cars also offers sporty GTI features such as a sport steering wheel, GTI gear shift grip and instrument cluster, special trim strips and stainless steel pedals and foot support.
Volkswagen assures an optimal mix of comfort and safety in the Golf GTI. Customers can choose from the standard body colours “Tornado Red”, “Black” and “Pure White”. In Germany, advance ordering for the new Golf GTI begins on the 5th of March, and prices start at 28,350 euros.