Volkswagen is calling it a concept, but its new Golf GTI study is pretty much the real thing. Bar a few minor tweaks, what you see here is what will start rolling out of Wolfsburg in spring 2009. And to keep the eco brigade happy, VW also showed its new Passat BlueMotion II that comes with some astonishing economy figures.
Tell me more about the Golf GTI
This sixth-generation hot hatch marks 32 years and 1.7 million sales of the GTI – and time and ubiquity has done little to dim the its appeal. We've pretty much told you all you need to know about the GTI, but here's a quick recap of the key points: it gets an all-new Audi-sourced 2.0-litre blown engine with 210bhp on tap, the same underpinnings as the current car, with most buyers opting for the six-speed DSG transmission.
The XDS electronic slip differential is now hooked up to the ESP system for enhanced traction and stability, while Dynamic Chassis Control (active damping to you and me) will be an option. Expect prices to climb by an extra £700 over the current car.
What else is new on the Volkswagen stand?
The new Passat BlueMotion II also bows in at Paris. It may not have the street cred of the GTI, but this Euro VI-compliant saloon and estate returns 68.9mpg and an incredibly low 109g/km, although VW admits the production version – in our showroom in early 2009 – will emit a slightly higher 114g/km. It features a stop-start system, advanced common-rail injection and longer gears for lower revs. Expect it to command a £500 over the standard diesel model.
CAR's verdict: Volkswagen at the Paris motor show 2008
Volkswagen played its people card at Paris: its new GTI is still the most aspirational hot hatch on the market with more upper-echelon kudos than its Vauxhall, Ford and Honda rivals can muster together. And the ultra-clean Passat BlueMotion II shows that it's still at the bleeding edge of sustainable mobility. Two VWs, both desirable for very different reasons.
CAR's VW show score: 4/5
Click here for up to the minute Paris motor show 2008 live reports
Click here for the previews and review: Guide to all cars