Straight off the back of Volkswagen's recent reveal of the 2009 Golf VI is news that will no doubt have many a Vee-Dub fan in tears. Thanks to ever-tightening emissions legislation in Europe, Volkswagen has decided to axe the hard-core AWD V6 Golf R32, substituting it with an all-paw Golf variant with a turbocharged 2-litre inline four.
The good news is that the R32's replacement will be even more powerful, with its turbo four-banger cranking out an impressive 198kW - 14kW more than the R32's 3.2-litre V6.
The new GTI will also be turning up the wick on its predecessor, with its 157kW turbo 2-litre four (essentially a detuned version of the R32 replacement's motor) generating some 10kW more than the current model. Steering and handling will also be improved over the current GTI, however it will retain the current Golf's excellent balance of sports and comfort.
You can also expect the GTI to boast a flashier exterior treatment than the standard Golf, with Audi-style LED running lights in the headlamps and sportier bumpers and rims announcing the GTI's sporting intent. Access to the turbocharger and the oil cooler is also said to be improved, making servicing (or modification, wink wink) less of a headache.
The new GTI and R32 replacement (which will retain the 'R' moniker) will go on sale soon after the rest of the Golf range sometime in early 2009. A concept version is rumoured to be making its debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show in October.