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Volkswagen Tries To Hide New GTI's Hottest Design Features

Spy Shots / Comments

Tried but didn't succeed.

For the first time in decades, Volkswagen will not be selling the Golf hatchback in the US when the current seventh-generation model is retired. The eighth-gen Golf, soon to go on sale overseas, will not be sold in the US due to dwindling demand for hatchbacks. There is some good news, fortunately. The segment-defining Volkswagen Golf GTI isn't going anywhere. It will be sold in America. Performance still matters for a lot of people.

The all-new GTI is right now undergoing the final stages of development as our spy photographers have revealed in this latest round of spy shots. Compared to previous spy images, the GTI prototype you see here has less camouflage but could still be mistaken by some as a regular Golf. There are clear exterior styling differences, however, that differentiates this test mule from its base counterpart.

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Look closely and you'll notice the bigger air intakes on the corners of the bumper along with a more pronounced spoiler and large center air intake. The wider side sills are also quite evident, as are the bigger exhaust pipes out back. Likely because it's undergoing winter testing, VW didn't equip this particular mule with model appropriate wheels; this set is clearly smaller than what the production car will have. The overall front headlight design bears a fairly decent resemblance to what's found on the ID.3 all-electric hatchback, which for sure isn't coming to the US.

However, the eighth-generation GTI is expected to come powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that uses some form of electrification, such as a 48-volt mild hybrid system.

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Total output should be around 245 horsepower, though there are rumors of a so-called GTI Performance variant with upwards of 300 hp. Power will once again be routed to the front wheels only through a six-speed manual or an optional dual-clutch gearbox. Inside will feature a completely revamped interior, including a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and an 8.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

We don't know a precise launch date for VW's latest hot hatch, but it should arrive sometime next year as a 2021 model.

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