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VW Planning Lightweight Version Of 2014 GTI: Report


2014 Volkswagen Golf GTI (MkVII) spy shots

2014 Volkswagen Golf GTI (MkVII) spy shots

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We know that Volkswagen will launch a new version of its GTI hot hatch, based on the Mark VII Golf, sometime after the base model’s mid-2013 debut. Beyond that, we know that a new Golf R is also under development, meaning that enthusiast drivers have something to look forward to across multiple price points.

Now comes word from Autocar that Volkswagen is planning a second version of its GTI, lightened for better performance and a more nimble feel. The ‘Carbon GTI’ will use carbon fiber and aluminum to shave as much as 440 pounds off the current GTI’s curb weight of 3,034 pounds.

Power will come from the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder as the base GTI, rated at 222 horsepower in 2014 models. The lighter body will allow the car to achieve a sub-six-second run from 0-100 km/h (62 mph), according to those close to the project.

Since cost is a factor for the Carbon GTI, Volkswagen has developed a unique way to blend steel and carbon fiber in its construction. The roof will use a thin steel core, welded to the body, then strengthened by two layers of carbon fiber. The aluminum bulkhead, rear floor and A-pillar structure will be bonded and riveted to the steel platform.

Making the car more cost-effective, the same carbon fiber and aluminum construction will be used on hybrid and electric versions of the new Golf. The Carbon GTI, however, will only be built in a limited production run, possibly to honor the 40th anniversary of the original GTI’s launch.

We hope that Volkswagen sees fit to export the Carbon GTI to these shores as well, as long as the price doesn’t climb too high over a well-equipped Autobahn-trim GTI.
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