In the past few years, it seems that every automaker has decided to jump on the hot hatchback bandwagon. Ford has its Focus ST, Mazda has the Speed3 and even Hyundai now has the Veloster Turbo. But the grandfather of them all, the Volkswagen GTI, hasn’t left the ball game. This year at the Geneva Motor Show, VW will debut its 2014 GTI.
The newest version of this spicy hatchback is built on the Mark VII Golf, the new seventh-generation model of the popular three-or-five-door hatchback. Next year’s model comes with 220 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque for the U.S. market, which is a 20-hp upgrade from the previous generation. Unfortunately, we won’t receive the European-only option for the performance pack, which upgrades the car to 230-hp and adds a few extra sporting options.
VW claims that the new GTI will earn up to 39 mpg on the highway, a figure that hasn’t been tested by the EPA yet. If that’s true, it’ll represent an 18 percent gain in fuel economy over the previous model. Start/Stop will also be a standard feature for 2014, allowing the car’s engine to stop running at red lights to save fuel while idling.
Outside, the GTI has all the goodies it needs to look like a sports car. Red calipers, dual exhaust and big, 17-inch standard wheels help the car look more menacing than cute, and the lowered suspension gives the whole profile a slick, quick aesthetic. Inside, the standard cloth seats have the GTI’s signature red plaid, and you can option the car out with navigation, leather, and a sport steering wheel and shift knob.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but we’re excited to see this fan-favorite up close and in person. Stay tuned next week for more news on the 2014 VW GTI from the Geneva Motor Show.