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Volkswagen Realizes Nobody Wants A Golf GTI Hybrid

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Fortunately, something much better is coming instead.

We all know Volkswagen is wrapping up development of its eighth-generation Golf hatchback. A debut is expected in the very near future. But what we're really looking forward to is the arrival of the next Golf GTI hot hatchback. Slated to arrive early next year, the new GTI, as Autocar has learned, will not have something many suspected: electrification.

Previously, it was rumored the new GTI would be a hybrid but it has apparently been confirmed that's no longer the case. The decision to stick with pure internal combustion was made very recently because up until last October the plan had been to go with a mild-hybrid powertrain.

The last-minute change of plan came from current VW Group CEO Herbert Diess. He reversed the call made by his predecessor, Matthias Muller. And it's a good thing he did. The new GTI will instead be powered by an updated version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged four found in the outgoing GTI, only it'll be even more powerful. The supposed 'base' GTI will offer around 252 hp while a more powerful TCR-badged variant will offer at least 286 hp.

If you recall, VW used the TCR badge for the first time on a limited run version. With its near-Golf R power levels, it also comes with the Performance package for a total of 286 hp. The upcoming GTI TCR will replace the Performance pack outright and will offer the same if not more output but with better delivery.

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The original plan was for the hybrid GTI to offer a coasting function that idles the engine on a trailing throttle combined with a kinetic energy regeneration system via braking. VW, under Diess, is essentially skipping hybrids completely and going straight for all-out electrification. Its first I.D.-branded EV will arrive later this year. This means the next GTI will stick with its current formula but with added potency. We can easily with that.

Then again, this could end up being the last internal combustion GTI. If so, it's going out with nearly 300 hp on tap. Expect a debut to happen possibly this September at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show.