Next Volkswagen GTI to go hybrid?

The next GTI will ditch the current model\'s turbocharger and adopt an electric compressor.

A hybrid drivetrain could make the next generation of the Volkswagen GTI faster and more efficient than ever before.

The next GTI will retain the current model's 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, according to inside sources who spoke to British magazine Autocar. However, the turbocharger will be replaced by an electric compressor wired to a 48-volt system. An electric motor sandwiched between the four-cylinder and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission will provide a power boost when needed while improving gas mileage.

What remains to be seen is whether the electric motor can be integrated into a manual transmission. We can't imagine the GTI going automatic-only, so Volkswagen could offer a more basic, non-hybrid model with a six-speed stick.

A re-engineered version of Volkswagen's modular MQB platform will underpin the hybrid GTI. Lightweight metals will help offset the weight added by the electrified drivetrain, though it doesn't sound like the next GTI will make significant use of carbon fiber.

If the rumors are accurate, the next-generation Volkswagen GTI will debut at a major auto show in 2020. Sales will kick off in time for the 2021 model year.

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