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Volkswagen is gearing up to launch the all-new seventh generation Golf at the Paris Motor Show later this year. The high volume model is considered to be amongst the most important models under the VW Group umbrella, but the quicker GTI version will have to wait until next year for its launch.

Our spies caught a prototype of the VW Golf VII GTI when it was testing near the famous Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit, no doubt heading for a high speed testing run. Engineers have spared no expense in the camouflage department by keeping the majority of the styling elements covered, however we did catch a glimpse of the honeycombe grille.

Under the skin lies the Volkswagen Group's MQB platform which also underpins the new Audi A3 series. It is lighter and more flexible than its predcessor and contributes to a 100kg (220lb) wait loss over the sixth generation model.

Power will come courtesy of a turbocharged 2.0-liter unit that will produce around 240 PS (177kW/237hp) that will enable the model to beat the 0-100km/h (0-62mph) of 6.9 seconds that its predecessor made.

The Volkswagen Golf VII GTI will arrive in dealerships during 2013.

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