Volkswagen GTI to Get Hybrid Assist, Electric Turbo

Volkswagen is gearing up to give its GTI an overhaul that will turn the hot hatch into a mild hybrid with electric turbocharging and more power than the current model.

UK magazine Autocar says "sources close to Volkswagen" told the publication the new GTI is scheduled to reach British dealers in 2020; knowing VW's tendency to introduce its new models in Europe first, North America would probably see the redrawn sporty hatch as a 2021 model.

The car would get a 48-volt electrical system capable of powering an electric turbo bolted to Volkswagen's familiar 2.0L TFSI motor -- the same one used in the current GTI. But the more significant evolution would be the addition of an integrated starter motor that would also draw from a traction battery to complement the car's combustion power. Autocar's source says VW is aiming for a power figure similar to the 261 hp of the Euro-only GTI Clubsport model (pictured above). There's also the suggestion this hybridized GTI would come standard with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. No word on whether VW will continue to offer a gas-only GTI and position this hybrid model as a higher-performance alternative.

Electric turbocharging is not a new concept, but it's one the Germans seem keen on: Audi's talked about using it in a future SQ5 crossover, and a forthcoming Mercedes-Benz six-cylinder will use it too, along with a mild hybrid assist setup similar to Volkswagen's plan.

It's said the next-gen Golf will use an updated version of the MQB platform found under the current model, but with more high-strength steel in its makeup to cut curb weight by as much as 50 kg.

Hybrid hot hatch? 1/27/2017 11:11:55 AM