Click above for a hi-res gallery of the 2009 Volkswagen Golf GTI
Volkswagen customers in the United States have been patiently awaiting the arrival of the new sixth-generation Rabbit and its GTI performance variant. And while it's still a little ways off, at least there's a light at the end of the tunnel as the German automaker has announced that the new model will hit the U.S. market in early September 2009. European customers, meanwhile, already began taking delivery of their new Golfs last month, with the GTI due to arrive there next summer.
American versions will initially be available with the current 2.5-liter inline-five, a new 2-liter turbodiesel in the TDI version and the GTI's 2-liter TSI. A new 1.8-liter TFSI is expected to replace the base 2.5-liter unit, with 4Motion all-wheel-drive, TwinDrive hybrid and LPG versions to follow, as well as a possible all-electric version and a replacement for the current top-of-the-line R32 performance model. North American models will also come equipped with adaptive cruise control, adaptive chassis control and 19-inch wheels as standard. Of the current (fifth-generation) Rabbit, the GTI version accounted for roughly one third of models sold, which Volkswagen expects to continue with this new generation. In the meantime, you can check out the high-resolution images in the two galleries below.