The next generation of the Volkswagen Golf GTI could be a hybrid unit when it is launched to the market in 2020. As a hybrid, the Golf GTI will be powered by the carmaker’s turbocharged 2.0-liter petrol engine as complemented by an integrated starter motor and a 48V electric system, according to AutoCar, citing sources privy to Volkswagen research and development chief Frank Welsch.
This development comes as Volkswagen has just refreshed the looks of the seventh generation of the Golf GTI. Likewise, the carmaker is in the midst of developing the next generation (eighth gen) of the VW Golf, which is bound to be introduced for the 2020 model year in 2019. The German carmaker is well expected to release the GTI version of the Golf a year later. It will boast of a higher performance than a regular Golf, and an electrified version of the 2.0-liter petrol engine could well serve the purpose. However, the exhaust gas turbocharger in the 2.0-liter gasoline engine will be replaced by an electrically operated compressor.
The current generation of the VW Golf GTI features a turbocharged 2.0-liter petrol engine – with direct injection -- that delivers 210 hp of peak output at 4,500 rpm and 258 lb.-ft. of max torque available at 1,500 rpm. On Sport trim or higher, the max engine output is higher at 220 hp. But for the eighth generation of the VW Golf GTI, the carmaker is working to reach intended power levels similar to those of the VW Golf GTI Clubsport.
Created by VW to celebrate the 40th of the Golf GTI, the Golf GTI Clubsport is powered by a turbocharged and direct-injection engine that delivers 265 PS (195 kW) of peak output. However, thanks to the powerplant’s overboost function, its max output can be increased by 10 percent more for around 10 seconds to over 290 PS – as activated by pressing the throttle. When specified with a six-speed manual gearbox, the Golf GTI Clubsport can sprint from zero to 62 mph in 6.0 seconds, although this time is trimmed to 5.9 seconds once the optional six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DSG) is employed.
While the power output of the next-gen VW Golf GTI would be similar to that of the VW Golf GTI Clubsport, it may boast of better fuel economy and lower carbon dioxide emissions thanks to its hybrid setup. Moreover, the hybrid configuration of the powertrain for the next-gen VW Golf GTI allows it provide more output at lower engine speeds as well as deliver torque across a wider rpm range. Despite having more hardware than the current VW Golf GTI, the new generation wouldn’t have significant additions in weight, thanks to the fact that it will be underpinned by the optimized MQB platform.