Something is brewing inside Volkswagen’s lab over there in Germany, and if these recent spy photos sent to us by our photographers are any indication, we might be in store for a special-edition Golf GTI sooner than later. The car itself is a little curious because the appearance of this mysterious Golf GTI caught us by surprise, something which you usually attribute to a special-edition model that’s in the middle of testing and development ahead of a unexpected reveal.
If that’s the case, we already know where the car is going, but that still doesn’t take away the fact that this model it’s suspected to be a more performance-oriented version of the Golf GTI. All the elements are certainly there to make that assumption. After all, the car was spotted taking in some hot laps at the Nurburgring and we all know that when somebody’s taking that route, it’s not because they’re in on a joyride.
On top of that, certain markings and components can be clearly seen that leads us to believe that this isn’t your ordinary Golf GTI. For one, there’s a new front lip spoiler, a can’t-miss, roof-mounted rear wing, lowered suspension, and a new set of 18-inch wheels, among other things.
Oh, and if you look just past the doors, you’re going to see a Wiechers sticker plastered on the sheet metal — as good a sign as any that there’s a racing pedigree to this Golf GTI. Wiechers, after all, is a German motorsport company that’s made a name for itself with its track-car parts and reason stands to suggest that there are a lot of Wiechers items inside this Golf GTI.
We’re hitching our wagons on this vehicle being a Golf GTI Club Sport that could make its debut at the 2014 Wörthersee this coming May. The timing seems to fit the schedule, so don’t be surprised if Volkswagen, who has a history of bringing along tuned-up versions of its lineup to Wörthersee, makes the official introduction then.
Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf GTI Club Sport.
The new Ford Focus ST is one of those models that can legitimately give the Golf GTI a serious run for its money.
Ford did really well with this model, designing it to look the part of a pocket rocket with serious intentions. The profile on the Focus ST is a good place to start, thanks to its deep, sculpted rocker panel extensions that flow smoothly into the rear bumper.
Power isn’t an issue, either. The Focus ST has some serious ponies under its hood, attributed to its 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, although how much of that difference will be wiped out by this Golf GTI Club Sport is yet to be determined.
The U.S. Focus ST is priced from $24,115 and barely cracks $29,000 with the desirable ST3 package that includes all the major options.
Gallery Ford Focus ST
Mazda has given no indication that a new Mazdaspeed variant of the new Mazda3 is in the works. But we’re still holding out hope that it does arrive sooner than later.
It would be a shame if it doesn’t, that much we can tell you. Even more so when you consider how good it could look in its new garb, not to mention the fact that with a 2.3-liter turbocharged engine under its own hood, those 300 horsepower is well worth the price of admission, much more so at least than what a standard Mazda3 hatch is going to give you.
And if you want to take on a track-variant of the Golf GTI, you’re going to need as many horses as you can pack in that powertrain.
Gallery Ford Focus ST
You know a model is successful if it’s still going strong after seven generations. But that’s exactly the position the Golf GTI VII is in right now.
The seventh generation Golf GTI brought some major updates for the model in a variety of facets. The most importnat, it can be argued, was the new performance options Volkswagen gave the model, offering (for the first time) two different power levels: a standard GTI that has 220 ponies and a 258 pound-feet of torque and a Performance version that increases the final output by 10 to 230 horsepower. Also, despite being more powerful than the previous generation, the new GTI is also more fuel efficient: an improvement of about 18%.