According to latest reports, however, VW won’t be neglecting its much admired Golf GTI. Sources in Germany familiar with the carmaker’s plans have revealed to Auto Motor and Sport that the GTI will be expanded into a small family of performance models, rather than remaining just a single car. Thus the model being shown next week at Paris will just be the entry level GTI, with much more potent offerings from VW set to follow soon afterwards.
For 2009, Golf GTI fans can expect to see a new sports diesel model, going under the GTD moniker. Essentially the GTD will be running on the same chassis as the GTI but will feature a fuel efficient 2.0L common-rail diesel with around 170hp and 350Nm, expected to be good for an 8.2 second sprint to 62mph - not lightning quick, but sure to be popular with those compromising between drivability and fuel efficiency. This model will also likely come with a six-speed manual as standard, with a DSG transmission as an option.
The next model up in the new GTI family will be the GTI 'Plus', which is expected to clash heads with the likes of BMW's 135i and Audi's S3. The car is expected to feature a 270hp output, Haldex AWD system and an uprated DSG transmission with seven-speeds.
Joining the new diesel and Plus models, will be a successor to the R32 due in 2010. As most manufacturers are doing these days, VW will likely downsize the R32’s V6 engine into a turbo five-cylinder variant, which is also expected to make its way into the Audi TT-RS and the Audi RS3 eventually. This twin-turbo five will be putting out around 350hp from its 2.5L of displacement.