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Click above for a gallery of the Volkswagen GTI

As good as the Volkswagen GTI is, an infusion of extra power couldn't possibly hurt. VW's GTI R32 was a highly refined car, but buyers quickly realized that the 3.2L VR6's 250 horsepower was barely enough to compensate for the engine's added weight over the standard GTI's 2.0L turbo four and the R32's heavy all-wheel drive system. What's more, the R32 was short-lived; it's no longer available for the 2009 model year. Enter the GTI R-Series.

According to Car and Driver, VW will bring the R-Series to the United States, possibly to be named R20, featuring the powerplant from the Audi S3. Expect around 270 horsepower from a high-pressure 2.0L turbo engine - a 70-horsepower improvement over the standard GTI. That power will be funneled through either a standard 6-speed stick or dual clutch DSG transmission to the front wheels. Like some other high-power front-wheel drive cars, an electronic differential will try and cope with the inevitable torque steer.

As much as we'd love to see the big 3.6L V6 engine from the Passat stuffed under the GTI's hood, a small turbo four will likely make for a better handling package along with reasonably good fuel economy – definitely something to look forward to later this year as a 2010 model. Thanks for the tip, other man!


[Source: Car and Driver]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 56 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why would you buy this (assuming it'll still be FWD, AWD another story) when you can chip a current GTI 2.0T and get 250hp and 300lb-ft at the crank (APR) just from chipping it for around $500. Many current GTI owners already do this as their very first mod.
        • 6 Years Ago
        True. I have a '07 MkV and that's exactly what I did after 2 months. I got it chipped (Revo) with everything else stock. Instantly noticed a difference before and after, without sacrificing drivability and economy. The engine management that comes stock is so conservative. I love everything about the car except for electrical gremlins. If the new "R" will put out 270 from the factory, I wonder what it's really capable after chipping it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Bigger, fatter, heavier, etc....the usual recipe for overdone from Germany.

      This car, among many others from Germany, is made for the typical pseudo-yuppie, turtleneck wearing, Joop cologne smelling douche wannabe.

      Any and all remnants of the original GTI are gone. Too bad...they used to be fantastic cars with a lot of character. Nimble as hell, decently quick even with a measly 134 HP with the twin-cam, and could muster 30 MPG back then no problem.

      Now, it's just a turd that needs a V6 to get it going. Pathetic.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Noz,

        Apples - Oranges.

        Think about it for one second. Of course the mk1 was lighter - it was also almost entirely devoid of safety tech. Which is quite, quite heavy. These days a car, even the cheapest sub-compact, has to get at least 4 stars and include front, side and rear airbags just to remain competitive. Also, for 2011, all cars will need mandatory traction control. All adding weight! You can make it all lighter, but then you drive costs up, a la the TT or a Lotus.

        Now, I'm not saying that they can't make the MK6 lighter, but comparing it to a car that's 25 years old is just silly.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Bigger, fatter heavier than what? the MkIV? Sure. than the car it replaces? No. It's 250lbs lighter and more powerful. Might want to check the S3 prior to landing into the car on a pointless tangent. The R20T remedies all that's wrong with the R32, it's quicker, more fuel efficient, lighter up front.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's not silly at all. The current Fit is aroudn 2500lbs...the Yaris is even less. Sure they are smaller...as were the original cars.

        Is there any particular reason why people should be driving around in cars that have more space than their living rooms?

        Everything today is overdone. They could easily...easily bring down the weight of the current GTI to about 2500lbs by A) not making it so freaking big and B) not designing it like a luxury barge. I'd bet you could easily get 35-40 MPG out of this car on a good day if they did that.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Which is why VW makes a ~2500lb sub compact called the Polo and is bringing it to the US next year.

        http://consumerguideauto.howstuffworks.com/2010-volkswagen-polo.htm

        And sure they could knock a couple hundred pounds off by getting rid of the leather, the heated seats, the 10 speakers, sun roof, etc... but you've also got to sell a car that people want. Even with all the weight I pull a combined average of 26 mpg (and thats driving it like GTI is meant to be driven...which despite its weight, is plenty zippy for almost anyone)

        Point is, small cars are coming and the GTI is no where near the slow pig that folks around here like to make it out to be...
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's a big fat pig...big whoop it's 250lbs lighter...it's also about 1000lbs heavier than the original car that was so fun to drive and 700 lbs heavier than the second generation that was a hoot too.

        So what's your point?

        It's retarded to have a car in this category with an engine so large, so heavy, and so powerful. What happened to nimble, light, and efficient? Something the Germans, and most manufacturers have forgotten completely.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, fantastic. I hope this is out come August of this year. Granted, it'll probably be a few thousand more than I'm willing to spend, but, if it's really as good as I'm hoping it will be, that may well be justifiable.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is it just me or does anyone else NOT like those rims? New styling calls for new rims me thinks.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think the rims are hideous but at least they got rid of the cheap looking egg crate plastics on the front.

        I still scratch my head with all the different Wabbits VW produces. Considering how bad their quality has been lately I'm amazing anybody would step on a VW lot. Was it 2006 or 2007 where VW had their worst year of recalls in ages? "Refined" my foot. And people still buy them. Crazy...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Seems like a better route than the V6 R32. Now if they could price it better than the R32 that'd be great. You can buy a base 370Z for around 30K. That's hard to beat.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I surely hope its AWD. If its FWD it'll just be another high powered FWD car and not offer anything truly different. There hardly are any AWD hot hatches, so if VW stuck with the AWD theme, they would at least be doing something different from the crowd. Mazda screwed up with the Mazdaspeed 3 by not offering AWD, IMO.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Alright, just for discussion's sake, lets just say that Mike W had it right and the GTi-R or R20T or whatever they are going to call this thing really will cost about 27.5K. We have heard reports that the MkVI is significantly cheaper to build than the MkV, so if in fact this new VW variant is in that price range I would say that it would go right up against the new 2010 Mazdaspeed 3. We still don't know what type of engine will be in the new MS3, but I have to think a 270hp AWD GTI is really going to give it a run for its money if not beat it outright
      • 6 Years Ago
      You are correct Matt, price is everything. Who cares how good it is, ANY car is, at a given price point. If it can't compete on price against cars in its class, it doesn't stand a chance.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hope this new GTI is shorter. I like the GTI and I know it's a great handler but it's too tall in this gen.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well the new Sirocco is the culmination of everything right with the MkV platform, 2.0T, Magnetic suspension, awesome looks, all standard. That it sells cheaper than the GTI in europe still amazes me. It's actually the MkVI GTI and MkVI R20T's stiffest competition.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Nope. The MkVI IS entirely based on the MkV. VW's gone to lengths to explain in articles that the only reason the MkVI will be as good as it is - is because all the technical development was accomplished with the MkV. Thus the MkVI will be a refining of the MkV (think MkI to MkII). Panel gaps will be closer, Interior will be even nicer, suspension even more capable.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Having driven and owned a MKIV R32 for 5 years I find it amusing to hear all these negative comments regarding the R32 and the VR6 engine (including the author of this article). Most of you do not own the car and I'd bet that a good percentage of you have never even driven one.

      There are pros and cons to just about anything. The VR6 engine has great torque available early on so it is very comfortable to drive around town. The sound out of this engine combined with a great exhaust is sublime at any speed. Granted, the engine is heavy and not ideally suited to a small FWD car, but when coupled to an AWD system (and a properly tuned suspension) the car displays predictable, neutral handling on track.

      Will this new R20 be a faster, better handling car? Very likely, indeed. For some of you armchair racers this will be all that matters. But I'll introduce to you the thought that the total value of a car is much more than specs. on a piece of paper and that each of us has a different idea about what makes a car 'great'.

      I'll cautiously reserve my judgment regarding this new R until I actually have some time behind the wheel.

      BTW - The VW reliability bashing is getting really old. VWs within the last few years have improved greatly and are on par with many others out there. My 2004 car has 72K miles and has seen 16 track days with only a brake light switch issue. POS...hmmm, not by a long shot ;)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah, yeah. VW is improving. The domestics improved a lot too in recent years too. So I presume that means that we forgive both their lapses in quality?

        I'm supposed to give them a free pass for my $45,000 Audi that lead the way in giving VAG a bad name for quality? Not yet. When I'm still talking to coworkers having their Jetta windows fixed (repeatedly), I'm not ready to cut VAG as much slack as you seem to.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yup, just drive a TT-S and 3.2L TT and compare the two, we're talking the same mix up here, the TT-S is faster, higher strung, less of a GT car. We'll see the same here.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Exactly on CR, they are generally a waste of time.
      My point on the bashing was that people generally have no idea what they are speaking of, but speak away they do!
      They glom onto something they read years ago, or something someone who told someone said the other person they once owned one....in 1983, and it was a POS.
      People are ill-informed is the point, yet they speak as if they are informed. The very definition of ignorance. The least informed also tend to be the most critical of another company that, for whatever reason, they dont like.
      Carlos
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's about time VW gave the GTI some muscle. They're eaten alive by Cobalts, Calibers, and MPS3s.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Carlos
        Stock GTi s?
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Carlos
        This is a good update. No question about that.
        However, the make or brake is going to be decided on pricing. This is a car that should be priced around what the existing GTI costs. It's really an upgraded chip with maybe a few hardening components (like strong oil squirters etc).

        If they do price this in the 30K category, then we're not competing with MS3's etc anymore but the excellent (I'm taking Porsche Cayman S trouncing) 370 Z. From all I'm hearing the 370 is an excellent machine with incredible handling (the old 350 was fantastic), ridiculously good braking (See reviews on C&D and R&T) and strong skid pad performance. The interior is also much improved and with RWD goodness it's going to be a formidable competitor in the 30-45K price range.

        The only other cars that are strong entries at that price is an EvoX and a Camaro SS (Pending further review. Of course, E46's M3's, 996 911's and 06 C6/05 Z06's are also at that price but those are preowned).
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Carlos
        It's not a GTI per say, it's their next "R32". This car won't be poised to take on the cobalt or whatever high strung forced induction american econobox you want to bring up, it's going to be placed slightly below the WRX.
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