Volkswagen has unveiled the latest incarnation of its iconic GTI hot hatch ahead of the March 2013 Geneva International Motor Show. In keeping with VW's tradition of updating the Golf on which the GTI is based, the new car is an evolution of the old one, with subtle changes and improvements to powertrains, fuel economy and driving dynamics. The models unveiled in Geneva are the European-spec vehicles; the U.S.-spec cars have not yet been announced, but this is a good peek into what we could expect here. The new GTI will offer a new 220-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine with either a six-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The European version will offer a start-stop system to improve fuel economy, which VW says improves efficiency by nearly 18% compared with the previous model.
For the first time, VW also will offer a factory performance pack, which boosts output to 230 hp, and adds bigger brakes and a torque-sensing limited-slip differential. Like the current model, the new GTI gets red-painted brake calipers, twin tailpipes, a lowered sport suspension and special cosmetic changes to differentiate it from the Golf.
In Europe, the car will include luxury items such as automatic climate control, park assist and a touch-screen entertainment system. The European model starts at 28,350 euros or about $37,168 at today's exchange rates. If VW holds to precedent, however, many of these items will be optional on the U.S. model in order to keep the entry price considerably lower. The new GTI goes on sale in Germany in May but is not expected in the U.S. until sometime next year. Check out more photos below.
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