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Volkswagen Golf V GTI
NEXT GOLF GTI TURNS UP HEAT
Exclusive spy images reveal the production version of the new VW Golf GTI as it began a series of performance tests high up in the Austrian Alps.
While the GTI badges are missing in the shots, there's no doubt what this car is. The undisguised model is almost identical to 2003's Frankfurt Motor Show concept.
The sporty hatch is fitted with the honeycomb grille and 18-inch wheels that first appeared on last year's exhibition star. And while the car in our pictures is a three-door, a five-door version will be available, too.
Deep side skirts also feature on the Honda Civic Type R rival, while at the back there's a neat spoiler, a lower bumper and prominent twin-pipe exhausts. The first model to hit the road will be a 200bhp 2.0-litre FSI turbo.
However, this car is widely expected to be followed by an entry-level 2.0-litre variant aimed at younger drivers who attract high insurance premiums. And there will definitely be a 2.0-litre TDI version, with around 180bhp, given that the original 150bhp GT TDI was one of the fastest-selling models of all-time.
A range-topping R32 replacement - powered by a 3.2-litre V6 - is also being tested, and will offer around 255bhp and all-wheel drive when it arrives next year. The DSG sequential gearbox, currently fitted to the Touran and Audi TT V6, will be available on all models as a cost option. Six-speed manual units will be standard across the range.
Inside, expect back-lit dials, plenty of GTI badging plus special metal finishes to the centre console and instrument clusters. Bespoke sports seats fitted to the Frankfurt show car are also tipped to make production, providing plenty of support to driver and passengers.
The showroom-ready Golf GTI will be unveiled at September's Paris Motor Show. Expect the first lucky owners to take delivery of their models in January, with prices starting at around £20,000.