By Andrew Ganz
Tuesday, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 7:31 am
Volkswagen has traveled to Geneva to officially debut its latest GTI, which is both more powerful and more fuel efficient than its predecessor.

European buyers will be able to select either 220 or 230 horesepower tunes for for their GTIs, although it's unclear just which setup will be sold in North America. Our GTI won't be detailed until later.

Based on the new-for-2013 Volkswagen Golf that is already on sale in Europe, the latest GTI uses an uprated version of the outgoing 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Standard GTIs net the aforementioned 220 ponies, while opting for a performance package ups that to 230 horsepower. Regardless, torque is rated at 258 lb-ft.

Opting for the performance pack brings with it a torque-sensing limited-slip front differential and upsized brakes all around.

Both six-speed manual and six-speed DSG dual clutch gearboxes will once again be on offer and, in Europe, they're mated to a start/stop system that saves fuel and trims exhaust emissions by cutting the engine when the vehicle is at a complete stop. Thanks to that technology, the GTI is rated at up to 39 mpg and just 139 g/km of CO2 with the six-speed manual, although it's worth noting that those figures cannot be directly compared to what you'll see on a window sticker in North America since the European test differs from that set by the EPA in the U.S.

Making the most of the power upgrade is a lowered and tightened suspension. Overall curb weight checks in just under 3,000 lbs. for the base model in Europe. Once again, North American specifications haven't been detailed.

Naturally, the GTI looks the part of a hot hatch once again. In addition to unique fascias, side skirts and a rear diffuser, it includes 17-inch alloy wheels, smoked LED tail lamps and LED license plate lights. Red-painted brake calipers and chrome tail lamps finish out the style outside.

Inside, VW's signature "tartan" seat pattern returns, along with a black headliner, a sport steering wheel, stainless steel pedals and other special touches.

When it goes on sale in May in Germany at 28,350 euros, the GTI will be offered in Tornado Red, Black and Pure White paint schemes.