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25 September 2008

Volkswagen has released the first photos of their Golf VI GTI Studie that will be shown at the Paris Auto Show next week. Although labeled as a “studie” concept, what you see in these photos is essentially the production version of the Golf VI GTI. Exterior changes are obvious with a completely new front end, fog lamps located further out, dual exhaust tips now mounted at the far ends of the back bumper and an overall clear attempt to make the Golf VI GTI look wider and lower. The new HID headlamps are really unique with loads of detail and an all-new look.

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The German press materials mention a 22mm (.8 inch) lower stance via revised suspension calibrations. The suspension itself retains the MacPherson front struts and multi-link rear setup. Claimed horsepower is up to 210hp on this new model, however we suspect that it won’t feel much different as the Golf V GTI 2.0T was already stronger than the claimed 200hp. Six-speed manual and DSG transmissions will be available. Volkswagen’s new Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) which varies the shock absorber damping and compression rates electronically via a switch on the interior will be available as an option on the German-spec cars. No word on availability for U.S.-spec GTI models.

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Interior revisions are numerous with plaid cloth inserts that have been revised, new shift knob design, unique black dash and door inserts with thin silver horizontal accents laid in and more. VW’s familiar blue gauges have given way to white gauges now.

Overall we like what we’re seeing so far. We’re a bit surprised that VW hasn’t changed the wheel design as the Huffmeister wheels were a signature Golf V GTI wheel and make this new Golf VI look a lot like the old Golf V in photos (particularly in white).

We won’t see the new Golf VI GTI here in the States till August/September of 2009 as a 2010 model. Until then VW will have very limited numbers of 2009 Golf V GTI models available, so if you like the current style, scoop one up now. Pricing on the new Golf VI GTI is expected to stay close to the same price as the existing 2009 Golf V GTI.



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