New spy photos this week reveal that just as development of the regular Golf is nearing a close, Volkswagen's engineers are hard at work on the next GTI.
Expected to land at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, the all-new Golf GTI has been, predictably, the subject of speculation and reports for some time now.
For now, it is known that the 2013 Golf family will ride on Volkswagen's new MQB platform, built to be markedly lighter, stronger and more versatile than its predecessors.
A new family of petrol and diesel engines for the regular Golf line-up has also been revealed, but so far, Volkswagen has remained quiet on the next GTI. Officially, at least.
Reports stretching back to early last year however, suggest that the new hero hatch will get an overhauled and enhanced version of the current model's 2.0 litre turbo four.
Keeping the old mill will mean plenty of tweaking if it is to meet Europe's strict (and getting stricter) emissions laws, but with Volkswagen's rivals promising a rush of high-powered hatches, the engine will also need to deliver a proper power boost.
According to Britain's Car magazine, we can expect a hike of 6kW and 70Nm, taking the engine's figures from 155kW and 280Nm to 161kW and 350Nm.
That's a modest power boost, but a significant smack of extra torque.
These latest figures follow a report earlier this year which claimed a brand-new 195kW 2.0 litre engine would drive the GTI, making room for a new all-wheel-drive Golf R delivering around 220kW.
Still, bolted into a new and lighter platform, the 161kW enhanced engine will get a better deal than it might otherwise appear, and a 0-100km/h time around 6.6 or 6.7 seconds should be in reach. (The current model lists a 6.9 second time.)
The report adds that the new GTI will do away with the current model's electronically-controlled differential, replacing it with a limited-slip unit.
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