Deep Dive: The Next Volkswagen Golf GTI Will Have 300 HP

While there are already two performance variants of the current, seventh-generation Golf — the 210-hp, front-wheel-drive Golf GTI (220 hp with the optional performance pack) and the 292-hp, all-wheel-drive Golf R — Volkswagen wants to add a third hot hatch to its lineup when the eighth-generation Golf comes out in three years’ time. Sources say we’ll see a 300-hp Golf GTI, a 350-hp Golf R, and a 400-hp Golf RS.

The march toward this performance Golf trio could start as early as next year when Volkswagen will likely release a one-off, 400-hp GTI that picks up the red thread Wolfsburg started spinning at the Wörthersee festival with the Clubsport concept. We’ll likely keep marching until early 2019, when we expect the eight-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI (seen here in our renderings) to debut. When it does, it won’t be a completely new car but an evolution of the existing GTI. (Even its architecture is internally known as MQB evo.) The front-wheel-drive-only car will be between 50 and 100 pounds lighter than the current GTI, and its main upgrades will focus on the drivetrain and electronics.

As of now, only one engine has been approved for the eighth GTI: a 300-hp, 2.0-liter turbo-four. (In other words, the current Golf R engine.) But other powertrain options are still on the table. One of those is a 300-hp, narrow-angle V-6 engine displacing either 2.5 or 3.0 liters that could be a comfort- and torque-oriented alternative for the U.S., which is neither sensitive to displacement nor consumption. The new GTI could also become a high-output hybrid or an emission-free EV with two motors — one 170 hp, one 95 hp — but those are questionable at best.


Assuming the Volkswagen Golf GTI gets a 300-hp inline-four engine, it’ll have a standard six-speed manual transmission bolted to it. Available options will include a dual-clutch automatic transmission, adaptive suspension dampers, bigger brakes, a pair of rather brash aerodynamic aids, and an electronic limited-slip differential. The lower and wider GTI will sit on a longer wheelbase and have a more rakish windscreen, a taller beltline, and shorter overhangs. Familiar styling cues, such as the wide C-pillars and characteristic cutlines, will be accented by fresh touches including LED headlights, a special body kit, and a half-dozen extra-cost cameras to monitor traffic and facilitate maneuvering in tight spaces. As far as the interior is concerned, the cockpit of the Golf concept recently shown at the CES in Las Vegas provides plenty of hints, and we fully expect familiar cues such as the red-and-black stripe work, the golf-ball shift knob, and the tartan plaid upholstery to stick around.

There will also be a much wider array of extra-cost safety systems and electronic nannies, as well as improved infotainment with seriously upgraded connectivity. An optional fully digital instrument panel will likely feature navigation and a head-up display. On the center console, a large touchscreen monitor should mix voice and gesture control, provide access to mobile Internet, and have extended connectivity via MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

The forthcoming Golf R and Golf RS likely won’t debut until after the eight-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI, and since the GTI is still a good bit off, it’s not surprising we haven’t heard a whole lot about these all-wheel-drive hot hatches. What we do know is that while both will have turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engines, they will both get two turbochargers instead of one, and the RS will get an instant-torque electronic boost system on top of that.

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1967 Volkswagen Westfalia: A family camper #TBT

Robert Storck said that, for as long as he can remember, his wife Misty has been intrigued by the size and shape of the early Microbus Volkswagens and hasn’t been reluctant about sharing her opinions of the bus with him.

Volkswagen manufactured a wide variety of bus models all based on the same basic platform. As he delved into the background of the buses, Storck soon found himself acquiring an attraction to them equal to that of his wife.

Next came the search for a solid rust-free VW, which led to many disappointments, as most of the ones he saw for sale were halfway rusted away or were worn out. Eventually, Storck saw an advertisement offering for sale a 1967 Volkswagen Westfalia camper located in Bluffton, South Carolina.

Other than photographs of the vehicle and telephone conversations with the owner, Storck had never seen the VW nor had he listened to it run, let alone drive it.

Nevertheless, Storck gambled and bought it over the telephone in December 2014. The singular disappointment came when the driver of the truck delivering the VW to Storck’s Virginia home managed to break off the key in the ignition. That mishap was quickly repaired. Storck and his wife then gave their 1967 VW a careful once over and were pleased with what they saw.

At the time, the Volkswagen had recently undergone a thorough restoration with a two-tone color scheme of Mango Green on the bottom and beige on the top. Both front and rear bumpers and the overriders are painted white.

The bulbous chrome hubcaps and the king-sized VW initials on the nose below the two-piece windshield add a touch of sparkle to the otherwise plain bus.

Like most every other Volkswagen from that era, this one is powered by an air-cooled four-cylinder engine mounted in the rear. In order to help the struggling engine operate comfortably, a set of 10 louvers at the rear corners of each side of the vehicle draw fresh air into the engine compartment. The louvers on the right side are adjacent to the gasoline filler door.

Across the rear of the VW are two openings; the lower one for access to the engine while the upper one is simply a liftgate to the passenger compartment. Tail/brake light assemblies with the separate backup lights above are located on either side of the engine hood.

Of course, the primary function of the vehicle is camping. Each barn door opening on the right side not only provides ventilation but also a window and access to the outside.

On the doorless left side of the 1967 VW Westfalia are three Jalousie crank open windows to provide flow-through ventilation.

Booth style seating can accommodate at least four around the table. Every inch of space under the wood veneer ceiling inside the Volkswagen is put to use. Above the centrally located table is a pop-top portion of the roof that can be raised for ventilation in hot weather camping or for additional headroom otherwise.

The accommodations inside are very cozy, especially since the Volkswagen is a mere 14 feet, 6 inches in length between the painted bumpers, stands only a bit over 6.6 feet tall, and is 3 inches shy of 6 feet wide.

Although the speedometer stands ready to register speeds up to 80 mph, the chances of attaining such a speed are remote because of the 2,535-pound empty weight and the lack of aerodynamics.

Whenever Storck climbs behind the two-spoke steering wheel of his bus and takes it out for some road therapy, he reports the car “likes it at 55.”

Now the question has arisen, is the Volkswagen hers or is it his? In the interest of family harmony the couple have decided to share their treasure.

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