The Volkswagen Golf lineup is set for realignment at the top end of the performance spectrum, with new eighth-generation fast Golfs on the way, including a 300-horsepower Golf GTI, 350-horsepower Golf R and a new Golf RS variant with 400 horsepower. The next GTI will retain front-wheel-drive, while all-wheel-drive will be saved for the R and RS. We’ll likely get a preview of this new hierarchy when a production version of the 400-horsepower Golf R400, based on the current Golf, debuts later this year.

According to Automobile Magazine, the eighth-generation Golf is expected to arrive in 2019 and will be an evolution of the current car. It will be built on Volkswagen’s new MQB architecture (internally called MQB evo), with improvements focused primarily on drivetrain and electronics. The next Golf should be lighter too, with the new GTI weighing between 50 and 100 pounds less than current one.

The GTI’s new engine will be more or less the same EA888 2.0-liter four-cylinder from the current Golf R and mated to either a six-speed manual or optional dual-clutch automatic transmission. Other options will include bigger brakes, adaptive dampers and an electronic limited-slip differential (which it definitely needed to manage all that power going to the front wheels).

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The GTI will differentiate itself visually from lesser Golfs with a unique body kit and requisite GTI red accent lines. Inside, expect a new infotainment system, which will integrate either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and use an improved version of Volkswagen’s gesture touchscreen, slated to debut in the sixth-generation Golf’s mid-cycle refresh.

As for the faster Golf R and RS variants, the report says that both will debut after the next GTI, and will use twin-turbo versions of the 2.0-liter EA888. The more powerful RS, however, could benefit from Volkswagen’s electric turbocharging technology for lag-free power delivery.

Why it matters

Given the recent frequency with which Volkswagen and Audi have been trotting out concepts with boosted 2.0-liter engines putting down huge power numbers, this report seems entirely plausible. Volkswagen has also proven there’s massive demand for fast Golfs. The Golf R sold it initial U.S. allotment in less than 12 hours, and, even though it’s rumored to cost over $50,000, expect the Golf R400 to enjoy the same popularity.

Volkswagen Golf GTI

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review here.

Source: Automobilemag

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