VW hopes to sell more than 100,000 Rabbits and GTI's annually in the U.S. by 2018, part of it and Audi's corporate strategy of aggressive worldwide growth. At this point anyway, they look poised to deliver on the audacious goal, with a worldwide sales increase of some 15 percent in the third quarter of '08.
And despite numerous updates and upgrades to the new model, VW is keeping prices in check, with an average $250 increase across the model lineup. Under the hood of the GTI will be Volkswagen's excellent 2.0-liter TFSI (Turbocharged Fuel Stratified Injection, or direct injection for the layman). Rabbits will feature the 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder, and optional will be the new 2.0-liter TDI turbodiesel four. Rumor has it that a new 1.8-liter TFSI will eventually replace the 2.5-liter unit.--Colin Mathews