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These are the first official photos with the new Volkswagen Golf VII GTI which is scheduled to hit the market next spring, despite initial predictions that were referring to a 2013 autumn launch. According to AutoBild, this is a near-production concept that will be shown this week in Paris but the one that will go on sale will look almost the same.

At the heart of the hot hatch is a 2.0-liter TFSI turbo engine with 220 hp (164 kW), but Volkswagen will offer an optional performance package that will increase the output of the engine to 230 hp (171 kW). It has a peak torque of 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) and promises to provide a fuel consumption of 6.6 liters / 100 km (35.6 mpg US or 42.8 mpg UK).

The Golf VII GTI needs 6.6 seconds to perform the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint and can hit a top speed of 152 mph (246 km/h). Fitted with the performance package, it does the sprint 0.1 quicker and reaches 155 mph (250 km/h).

As far as the design is concerned, this GTI concept gets a honeycomb radiator grille with a red line in typical GTI style, along with twin chrome exhaust pipes and LED taillights. Compared to the standard Golf VII, the hotter version has been lowered by 15mm and comes with red brake calipers and the usual array of GTI wheels: Denver, Detroit and Glendale, offered in 17- or 18-inch sizes. It can also be fitted with the updated Brooklyn alloys.

The interior of the cabin doesn’t hold any surprises as it has the usual red stitching, a three-spoke flattened steering wheel, the gear knob in golf ball design and the black roof lining. There’s also a special instrument cluster with a color display and chronograph-style instruments. Other features include aluminum pedals and red ambient lightning.


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