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Enthusiasts like nothing more than to crucify modern interpretations of their favorite performance models for failing to live up to some imagined ethos. Even the Volkswagen GTI has suffered its fair share of slings and arrows for growing in size and curb weight. Chris Harris recently spent some time with the all-new MK VII GTI to find out if growing up means giving up on what makes the machine so special.

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The all-new seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf hasn't even launched here in the United States, but over in Geneva, we're already getting our first glimpse at the hotter GTI hatchback. The fancy new Mk VII Golf is already off to a healthy start with positive reviews in Europe, and we have no doubt that this next GTI will work hard to regain its title as king of the hot hatches.

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The upcoming Geneva Motor Show is going to be stocked with important new production models and sexy concept cars, but hot hatch enthusiasts will undoubtedly see it as the coming out party of the MkVII Volkswagen GTI. And while we've only got European specifications and pricing to go on for now, we can tell from the get-go that the new GTI will be a proper heir to VW's hot hatch legacy.

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Following the debut of the new Mark VII Golf, Volkswagen is set to pull the wraps off of a new GTI Concept at the Paris Motor Show. Though its time in the hot lights is less than a day away, that hasn't stopped the likes of AutoBild from dropping some freshly leaked images of the hot hatch design study on the interwebs.

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We've heard that Volkswagen will be turning up the wick on the next-generation GTI, and this newest report is certainly fanning those flames. Autocar now says the 2.0-liter turbo four in Volkswagen's next hot hatch will make all of 260 horsepower, but perhaps more importantly, the front differential will get some new technology to keep all that power from just turning into tire smoke.

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The next GTI will be an order of magnitude better, bringing it back in line with the original hot hatch.

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