Report: 2013 Volkswagen GTI Will Get 260 HP, Haldex Front Differential

The last time we heard anything about the next-generation Volkswagen GTI, we thought it would pack a 220-horsepower punch and possibly retain its electronic differential programming. Now, we hear that Volkswagen will probably give it 260 horsepower and a trick front differential.

In the years since the Mark V Volkswagen GTI (2006) debuted, the sub-$30,000 sport compact segment has gotten some serious upgrades. Today's GTI will have to face off against new competitors like the Hyundai Veloster Turbo (201 hp), Fiat 500 Abarth (160 hp), and Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ (200 hp), and battle old rivals like the Hyundai Genesis Coupe (274 hp), Mazda MX-5 Miata (167 hp), Mini Cooper S (181 hp), Mazdaspeed 3 (263 hp), and Subaru WRX (265 hp).

Wading into battle with just 200 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine may not be good enough anymore, so Autocar says that the Mark VII (2013) GTI will pack a 260-horsepower punch. That's enough to vault right over the Ford Focus ST, the upcoming 247-horsepower hot hatch that's already aiming to steal the GTI's lunch. It's also a healthy 60 horsepower more than before.

Autocar also says that Volkswagen will look to a new type of front differential to keep the power boost from making the GTI too much of a handful. The differential, dubbed VAQ, is an electronically controlled clutch-type unit, and is similar to those employed in a Haldex all-wheel-drive setup in cars like the Golf R.

While the GTI will be based on the same MQB architecture that will underpin the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3, we also hear that the car will use aluminum, not steel, in the floorpan and roof to keep weight low.

Expect to see the VW Golf and GTI bow at the Paris Motor Show later this year, with an early-2013 sale date, and perhaps a Golf R variant to follow. We can't wait, but what do you think: is 260 hp and a trick diff enough to push the GTI to the top of the heap? What do you feel the next GTI needs in order to be a success? Send your thoughts to us in the comments section below.

Source: Autocar

KJS825
I had a 80 VW Scirocco, a 98 Audi A4 2.8 Quattro, an 01 Audi TT Coupe Quattro , and a 06 MkV GTI. loved em all and cant wait for the Mk VII GTI. I currently have a 2011 MINI Cooper S but will sell when this comes out.... if it surfaces as the early descriptions say it will be a game changer. The Mk V was quick but this is 30% more HP and a genuine LSD. Cant wait.
Kevin
It's personally a bit ironic to me that the there are people who don't like the Detroit wheels. As of the 2013 model year they are only available on the base. I'm drooling with great anticipation at the possibility of the 2014 coming next summer. I have a feeling the Detroit wheels will be gone completely by then...something that I think truly is hot look. Oh...and I'm almost 50 years old...not exactly a boy racer. Just personal taste. One last point...really not digging the alternative wheels either. I hope they come up with something better.
Kevin
@Ryan I agree excet for the center-exhaust. This is the one thing I can't stand about the Golf R. Not only does it look weird, it's a safety hazard should you forget and burn your legs placing something in the back. I think the mkvi exhausts on both sides are attractive. But, we'll see what the future brings. I can't wait to see the next one!
ELHam
Having owned a 2007 GTI and being the current owner of a Hyundai Veloster (awaiting the turbo model, thank you very much), I think that the current GTI is more than capable of besting the Veloster, Fiat, and Mini. If the rumored engine , suspension and differential changes are forthcoming, the rest of the liat is toast. And, in response to Ryan's Item 3, if you don't know how to trail-brake, then you shouldn't be hammering a GTI. The understeer is not that bad. Go in on neutral power, brake slightly to rotate the car, take a slightly late apex and mash the throttle on exit.
John Abruzzo
If the price doesn't go up and the gas milage doesn't go down, I'll buy one!
Ryan
What the GTI needs to be successful: 1. Desperately needs different rims or rim options 2. Dual center exhaust 3. Get rid of the plaguing understeer at limits (only 20% of people would car about this) 4. Better lower lateral support on seats 5. At 260 hp achieve or exceed 24 (town) – 33 (hw) mpg 6. Price competitively 7. Not to release the next generation until program maturity. Quality over velocity. 8. Free lap dance wouldn’t hurt from each GTI purchase. Recipe for success.
bob adams
Not to mention those hideous GTI "boy racer" wheels. Gawd I hate the looks of those things.
bob adams
I think that if VW increases prices up to Golf R level to cover this extra horsepower and differential they will be in a world of hurt. The way I have it calculated I can buy a heavily optioned Ford Focus ST for about $3,000 less than I can buy a Golf Autobahn equally arrayed. Don't get me wrong, I love the Golf , always have and always will, but ... more horses, leather Recaro seating, racy looks and paint schemes, and great drag coefficient! Makes you think.

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