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by Tim Beissmann

The all-new Volkswagen Golf GTI will be available from next year with an optional power boost package in what will be a first for the iconic German hot-hatch.

Revealed in near-production-ready concept form at the 2012 Paris motor show, the seventh-generation Golf GTI will launch early next year in both standard and ‘Performance’ tunes.

The 2013 Volkswagen Golf GTI is powered by an uprated version of the existing EA888-series 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine.

The standard tune produces 162kW of power and 350Nm of torque – an increase of 7kW and a massive 70Nm over the Mk6 GTI.

The GTI’s new peak torque figure now matches the output of the outgoing European-spec Golf R, and exceeds the 330Nm generated by the ‘hot-climate’ version delivered to Australia.

The optional GTI Performance pack variant adds an extra 7kW for a peak output of 169kW. Performance pack models also score larger brakes and a front axle differential lock designed to reduce power-related understeer.

The added poke cuts one-tenth off the standard GTI’s 0-100km/h sprint (6.5 seconds versus 6.6secs) and adds 3km/h to its top speed (249km/h versus 246km/h). The Golf GTI Mk6 took 6.9 seconds to reach triple figures and ran out of puff at 240km/h.

Despite the performance hikes, the installation of a stop-start system and a series of other efficiency enhancing measures (weight savings, aero improvements, etc.) sees the Golf GTI’s combined cycle fuel consumption fall 18 per cent to 6.0 litres per 100km – astonishing, a level that betters the most frugal petrol model in the current Golf line-up, the 77TSI at 6.1L/100km.

Like the current model, a six-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission will be available as an option to the standard six-speed manual gearbox.

Also new to the Volkswagen Golf GTI line-up is the brand’s progressive steering system, which is intended to reduce the degree the driver is required to turn the wheel by varying the steering system’s ratio – lightening up when parking and performing low-speed manoeuvres, and becoming tighter and more direct for spirited drives on twisting roads.

Naturally, the 2013 Golf GTI benefits from all the technological advances of the regular Golf hatchback range, including the innovative multi-collision brake system and new infotainment systems.

Distinguishing the Golf GTI from the basic range is a set of red brake calipers, honeycomb grille with red double stripe detail, polished blade-style 17-inch ‘Brooklyn’ alloy wheels, tinted LED tail-lights and twin chrome 80mm tailpipes.

Signature GTI elements can be found inside too with tartan seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, golf ball manual gear knob and red ambient lighting all making an appearance.

The new Volkswagen Golf GTI launches in Europe in early 2013 and the right-hand drive UK market by the middle of the year.

The standard Golf range arrives in Australia in the second quarter of 2013, with the GTI set to join he line-up in the second half of the year.