Ahead of its official debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show in March, Volkswagen has taken the wraps off of the latest iteration of its popular hot hatchback – the 2014 Volkswagen GTI, which brings more power and fuel efficiency to the iconic nameplate as well as a few surprises for hot hatch enthusiasts.
The exterior styling of the 2014 GTI retains much of the styling elements found on the standard MkVII Golf currently avalible in Europe, but Volkswagen stylists have given the GTI several styling tweaks that ratchets up the excitement factor and make the car standout from lesser Golfs. A unique front fascia gives the GTI a bold and purposeful face and features new black honeycomb grille inserts which are found in the upper and lower grille assemblies, while new side skirts also add some much-needed flair. The rear fascia is also unique to the GTI and comes equipped with smoked LED tail lamps, LED license plate lamps, and a built in rear diffuser to improve airflow, while 17 inch alloy rims, red painted brake calipers, and dual chrome exhaust tips round out the package.
The interior of the 2014 Volkswagen GTI continues the performance oriented theme set in place by the bold exterior styling and featuresmany of the items seen on the last generation GTI which include things such as a flat bottomed steering wheel, GTI-exclusive shift knob for models equipped with the manual transmission, and the familiar supportive sport bucket seats which do an excellent job of holding occupants in place during spirited driving and can also be upholstered with the model’s signature Interlagos plaid pattern cloth material which not only does a good impersonation of one of Al Borland’s flannel shirts, but has also been a hallmark feature of the GTI since its first appearance back in 1975.
Performance for the 2014 GTI comes from a 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine which now produces a stout 220 horsepower (a gain of 20 horses) and a solid 258 lb ft of torque (an increase of 51 lb-ft). If that is not enough power for you, Volkswagen is offering an optional performance pack (a first for the GTI) that slightly increases horsepower to 230 horsepower while torque figures remain unchanged at 258 lb-ft. The performance pack also increases the size of the four wheel disc brakes and adds a special torque-sensing limited slip differential. All of this muscle is sent to the front wheels through either a six speed manual gearbox or an optional six speed DSG dual clutch automatic transmission which team up with the car’s [now lighter] 2,978-pound curb weight to allow the 2014 GTI to make the dash to 62 mph in a respectable 6.4 seconds before reaching a final top speed of 155 MPH.
In addition to the increased performance numbers, fuel economy has also seen a noticeable improvement over the previous generation GTI thanks to a new start/stop system which reduces the car’s emissions and allows manual equipped GTI’s to achieve 39 mpg while only emitting 139 g/km of C02. American consumers should be prepared for a slightly different economy rating when the car arrives in the U.S due to the EPA having different efficency testing standards versus their European counterparts.
Pricing for the seventh generation GTI will start at £28,350 when the car goes on sale in May with Tornado Red, Black, and Pure White the only color choices available. Specifications for North American versions have not been revealed as of this writing but expect those details to be revealed in the near future.