Paris 2012: Volkswagen Golf GTI concept


Volkswagen is officially calling it a concept, but then it's also saying that this Golf GTI will go on sale in Europe early next year, arriving in the UK next summer.

It’s still a 2.0-litre turbo, running a development of the EA888 direct-injection turbo engine (plus manual or DSG gearboxes), but producing 10hp more with a new output of 220hp. More interesting still, Volkswagen has also confirmed a ‘performance pack’ version, boosting power to 230hp.

Plaid interior? Check...
Plaid interior? Check...
How fast is it? The standard 220hp car takes 6.6 seconds to reach 62mph from a standstill, with the 230hp performance pack cutting 0.1sec from this and hoisting the top speed to 155mph.

More significantly, the performance pack model also gets 17-inch front discs, an inch larger than standard, plus a development of VW’s active front diff which engineering chief Dr Ulrich Hackenberg confirmed will significantly reduce understeer. VW calls it VAQ.

How potent is the performance pack variant? Well, it’s already been timed at 13 seconds quicker than the standard car around the Nurburgring. What was that about it being a mere concept again? Alas, VW hasn’t yet confirmed how the performance pack cars will be branded. We like the press pack suggestion of ‘stage 1’ and ‘stage 2’ though…

The world's least futuristic concept car...
The world's least futuristic concept car...
More sensibly, the Golf GTI is a more easily justifiable hot hatch, thanks to a big jump in fuel efficiency. The standard model averages 47.1mpg and emits just 140g/km CO2 – huge improvements on the current car which has been criticised for its thirst relative to newer rivals.

And the looks? Well, it’s a Golf GTI. You’ll know how it looks without even seeing it. Still, the Mk5-led differentiation continues here with plenty of GTI addenda, although we’re not quite sure about the extended red stripe on the headlights. OK, it references the wide grille of Mk 1 and 2 GTIs, but also looks a bit… odd.

Good job the rest of the car is so on the money.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (81) Join the discussion on the forum

  • HighwayStar 05 Oct 2012

    MadDog1962 said:
    This looks like a backward step styling wise. Not so much extra power either. For about 300 quid you can re-map the ECU in the standard 2litre turbo of the existing engine to give about 25% more grunt (it basically ups the boost from about 10psi to about 17.5psi - not sure what that does to engine longevity or real world drivability though.....).

    My point being shouldn't VW with all their resources be able to do better?
    That'll be the Golf R, 290bhp, due late next year... Should be good, the Golf is lighter than the Focus and roughly the same is the Megane RS Cup...

  • MadDog1962 05 Oct 2012

    This looks like a backward step styling wise. Not so much extra power either. For about 300 quid you can re-map the ECU in the standard 2litre turbo of the existing engine to give about 25% more grunt (it basically ups the boost from about 10psi to about 17.5psi - not sure what that does to engine longevity or real world drivability though.....).

    My point being shouldn't VW with all their resources be able to do better?

  • va1o 04 Oct 2012

    JuniorJet said:
    I was told the new Golf would be more "Scirocco-like"... and it is... but not enough to make it anything special.
    Speaking of which we should see a new Scirocco early next year once all the Paris launches have settled down

  • JuniorJet 04 Oct 2012

    Ah! more of the same.

    I loved my edition 30 but I think the record needs changing...

    edition 25, 30, 35... I wonder what the next one will be???? The edition 35 was a flop because it was not different enough to the standard GTI.

    Yes the new Golf looks better than the last one, but the MkV looked even better and was most importantly very different to the Mk4. I was told the new Golf would be more "Scirocco-like"... and it is... but not enough to make it anything special.

  • Wills2 29 Sep 2012


    I love the new interior, I always hated the trend to flatten dashboards and welcome the return of the angled centre console.


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