VW insiders have revealed that the company plans to launch a 2009 VW GTI soon after the release of the 2009 VW Golf. The new GTI will use a 211 HP 2.0-liter four-cylinder, gaining 11 HP over the current model, but still far short of rivals like the 2008 MazdaSpeed3 and 2009 Subaru WRX. A more powerful GTI-R model will replace the R32 and rival the Japanese competition with 265 HP and 4WD. But why is the six-cylinder model being dropped?
Ever-tightening emissions regulations have killed the six-cylinder GTI, but hopefully the boosted four will provide a lighter, less nose-heavy vehicle with equivalent performance. To make up for the price premium both performance models are likely to carry over rivals, the GTI will bring Audi-like exterior upgrades in the form of a handsome bodykit and LED running lights. We'll continue to hold out hope that the 2009 VW Scirocco will make it stateside. [via Autocar]