New reports from Car magazine indicate we may get a closer look at the production version of the new Volkswagen GTI-R at the upcoming Frankfurt auto show in September--and a hands-on experience soon after.
Car says the GTI-R is headed to a showroom debut in 2010 (as a 2011 model) and confirms it will be another R spec car like the 2008 Volkswagen R32. This time it won't be V-6-powered--it will have the same 2.0T that beats under the hood of the GTI with a little massaging to coax out 266 hp.
That should be enough to keep acceleration in the low 5-second range. Other than the engine itself, the spec sheet of the R20T reads very much like that of the outgoing R32 with the AWD system, DCT transmission, 3 door hatch, etc. This information dovetails nicely with a post from this summer from our friends at thecarconnection.com which indicates much the same but also includes a potential name which would remove the engine displacement from the title and be named GTI-R instead. I like the GTI-R name but think Volkswagen could trim it even further and just name it "R"
The biggest benefit in my mind is that this version should be slightly lighter and better balanced due to the reduction of weight from the front axle, so it should be more fun to drive and with the AWD system it will be even more fun in the snow and on the dirt. It may also come in a 5-door model which would make me very happy if it looks as good as the 5 door GTI did.
No need to wait for it though--the 2009 Volkswagen GTI is great as it is and offers all the fun but slightly less power (tons of pictures and information about it here).