When the Volkswagen Golf GTI was introduced, it broke the mold. As the first hot hatch, it was the car that nearly killed off the small weekend sports car.
Now, VW has just introduced the all new Mark VII Golf here in Paris. Look at it. It's newer. It's powerfulier. It's Golfier.
(Ed Note: you can play with the car in 360-mode right here)
Volkswagen was 100% focused on the all new Golf for the Paris Motor Show, and with good reason. Even though hatchbacks aren't totally the bees knees in America, the Golf remains one of the top selling global cars Volkswagen has ever made.
This new, seventh generation, car, doesn't rock the boat in terms of styling, but is a fresh update of what we've seen before. But does that mean it's part of VW's global beigekrieg? Not necessarily.
The base car will have a range of turbocharged four cylinder engines with power output from 85 to 140 horsepower, as well as diesel engines with 105 and 150 horsepower. Expect the diesel to be the volume seller in Europe, and hopefully it'll make it's way to America as well.
There is also a "BlueMotion" version of the car on the way, and it's going to be getting insane fuel mileage on the European cycle, just don't expect it to be quick.
Interestingly, VW got a slight assist from Green Peace when introducing the car. The sign, which was dropped from the rafters, says "Volkswagen Us Smokes," which I assume means they put out some sort of smoke screen or enjoy ruining the environment for the rest of us. VW tried to make a joke out of it, but the people climbing in the rafters to get the sign down proved that it was actually quite serious.
But the car you care about is the all new GTI, the exciting, saving grace. And surprisingly, there are actually quite a few differences between the current car and the new car.
For starters, it has more powwwweeerrrrrrr. The GTI now has 220 horses clawing away at the front wheels, and in a first for the car, VW is offering a performance pack straight from the factory. The result?
You can get 230 throbbing ponies. Not exactly world beating, but hey, it's something.
In the styling department, there are some GTI badges and a slight change in the red stripe on the front of the car: It runs straight across all the way through the headlamps. It's quite cool, and looks great on the white car.
But on a blue one, I'm not so sure if the red will work. Only time will tell. VW has deemed this car a "near production concept" of the next GTI, and they expect it to go on sale early next year at Golf type prices.
Take a closer look at it below.
Photo Credits: GF Williams