While we may have already seen the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf and its hot-hatch GTI variant, the duo will be making their official American debut later this month at the New York auto show.
The 2015 Golf will be offered with two different engines when it goes on sale in the first half of 2014: a revised 2.0-liter turbodiesel I-4 will be available, and a new 1.8-liter TSI four-cylinder is expected as the gas-powered offering. The 2.5-liter I-5 will be discontinued with the current-generation Golf. The GTI will also usher in a revised powertrain: a new 2.0-liter turbo-four good for 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, increases of 20 hp and 51 lb-ft, respectively. Expect transmission options to include a six-speed manual or dual-clutch automatic.
However, while the powertrains have been refreshed and updated, the big news with the Golf/GTI is that the cars now ride on Volkswagen's new, modular MQB platform. These are first cars from the VW brand to use MQB (Audi and Seat already have cars on sale based on MQB), and the all-new architecture should net a weight savings of almost 100 pounds for U.S.-spec cars. MQB is also flexible enough that it can be stretched to accommodate other larger models that are coming down the VW Group pipeline, like the next Tiguan crossover, Jetta sedan, and Polo subcompact.
The 2015 Golf and GTI will be built at Volkswagen's Puebla, Mexico plant alongside the Beetle coupe and convertible.