Report: Next-gen Volkswagen Golf GTI and R to be more powerful, lighter

2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI

2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Thankfully, Volkswagen’s wrongdoing and all associated bad behavior surrounding its diesel emissions scandal hasn’t scaled back development for its hot hatchback offerings. According to a new report, VW’s practical and fun hatches will go from hot to hotter.

Autobild reports the next-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R are in for some major improvements inside and out. Foremost, more power is coming to both the GTI and R variants of Golf. The current Golf GTI is no slouch with 210 horsepower on tap from its 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine. What the publication is proclaiming as the 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI will receive a horsepower bump of 40 additional ponies, however, to bring the final tally to 250 hp. That figure would bring the GTI closer to the Ford Focus ST, which produces 252 hp, so it seems like a reasonable expectation.

2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI

2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Just as the GTI may chase the Focus ST, the 2019 Volkswagen Golf R may properly challenge the Focus RS with a significant power bump with 45 additional horsepower. Those sans a calculator will note that brings the Golf R to match the current Focus RS with 350 hp.

It’s unclear if Volkswagen will continue utilizing its 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4, or if there are new powertrains on the way—the report details significant changes to the standard Golf’s powertrain lineup. Additionally, the next-generation Golf is about to become a much more digital place to be. Sources say every analog must go and a fully digital cockpit will be put in place.

All of this will take place just as the current Focus RS bids the market goodbye as a new-generation Focus hangs on the horizon. Ford tends to save the top-spec RS model for later in the model’s life, which means a new Focus RS is more than a couple years away.

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