The Mark VI Volkswagen GTI impressed us at Automobile Magazine enough to win Automobile of the Year back in 2010, so it’s no use claiming it’s not a good car. But as its rivals gain on it with more horsepower and trick features, it might need to pump itself up to better compete.
Which, apparently, may be exactly what’s in store for the next-gen GTI. Autocar is reporting that Volkswagen will likely give the mighty GTI a power bump for its next rehash, leaving the hot hatch with around 220 hp. The power bump is eked from the same engine used in the current car — a turbocharged 2.0 I-4 — by means of a new valve lift system and a handful of other small tweaks.
We already know the engine is capable of more power: VW’s Europe-only Edition 35 GTI manages to squeeze 235 hp from the 2.0T. The upcoming Golf R—which will be sold in the US—has 252 hp but gets it from a massaged version of an older variant of the 2.0T.
Autocar also reported that upcoming GTI models may finally receive a electronically-controlled mechanical differential to replace the current model’s XDS electronic differential system.
Is this enough to win the hearts of VW enthusiasts? Time will tell, but there’s a lot to like should this all come to fruition. VW has yet to comment on these potential revisions, but expect more news about the MkVII GTI to emerge soon, as the seventh-generation car should launch by late 2012/ early 2013.