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We’re coming to you from Singapore, where Volkswagen Group Malaysia has decided to do a little media preview of the Golf GTI Mk7 ahead of its official launch. The launch proper will be held this Saturday, when you can start getting a feel of the hot-hatch at your nearest Volkswagen showroom.

The Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk7 is priced at RM217,888 before options (we’ll get to that in a minute). Also, surprise, surprise, Volkswagen is offering the three-door version of the GTI for the first time, at a cheaper price of RM209,888. Prices quoted exclude insurance.

As goes without saying, this new hot-hatch is a high-performance version of the latest MQB-based Golf Mk7. Our local Golf GTI comes with the standard 220 PS 2.0 litre turbocharged engine, 10 PS more than before. Not to let the horsepower grab the limelight, the engine also produces 350 Nm of torque, a good 70 Nm bump from the Mk6 GTI, which we reviewed back in 2009.

The EA 288 2.0 TSI engine is mated to a six-speed dual-clutch DSG (wet, not dry type), and the new GTI accomplishes the 0-100 km/h dash in 6.5 seconds (6.9 on the previous) and continues to a top speed of 246 km/h.

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On the other side of the performance coin, with standard stop/start system and regenerative braking on, the GTI will return a fuel economy of 6.4 litres per 100 km and expels just 148 g/km of CO2 (versus 7.4 l/100 km and 173g/km in the outgoing model).

This shows that the new drivetrain is 14% more fuel efficient, while emitting 16% less CO2 compared to the previous-generation GTI. Something for your trivia file – the hot-hatch fulfils the EU6 emissions standard.

To improve handling, the boffins at Wolfsburg have not only stiffened the chassis but also added in an advanced electronic differential lock called the XDS+, which essentially applies more torque on the wheel that needs more of it, resulting in sharper turn-ins. It also prevents wheelspin on individual wheels. Also, the new progressive steering lets the car make a turn with less steering movements.

What else? There’s an ESC Sport function that allows the deactivation of the ASR (traction control) at a press of a button. Hold the button longer and you’ll activate ESC Sport.

Let’s turn our attention to the exterior of the car. As is, the five-door GTI comes with bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, red brake calipers, two chrome tailpipes and one GTI badge for each wind direction. There’s also a GTI rear spoiler with black borders around the rear windscreen, in addition to the GTI honeycomb grille and the red stripe running across it.

One thing to note here: gone is the double red strip on the grille, which has been replaced by a single red strip that extends into the headlight housing. As for its wheels, the five-door GTI features 18-inch ‘Austin’ alloys wrapped in 225/40 R18 tyres.

Inside, you’ll find GTI-specific black roofliner, red ambience lighting, a sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, gear knob and instrument cluster, special trim strips, and stainless steel pedals and foot rest. The seats are wrapped in the GTI-signature ‘Clark’ tartan pattern.

There’s also a GTI-exclusive ‘Premium’ multi-function display with a lap timer function and rear LED reading lights. In-car entertainment system comes from the 5.8-inch Composition media with eight speakers. Exclusive for the GTI, the touchscreen display has a ‘Checkered Black’ motif.

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The Performance Pack won’t be offered at the moment, but there are plans to bring the 230 PS car in. What we do get is the Tech Pack, which adds another RM10,000 to the price. For that, the GTI will have Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) with Driving Profile Selection, which gives five modes – Sport, Normal, Comfort, ECO and Individual.

There’s also Vienna leather seats with red stitching, with a 12-way electric adjustable driver seat replete with lumbar support. More options – you can swap out the standard 18-inch wheels for 19-inch ‘Santiago’ alloys wrapped in 225/35 R19 for another RM3,000.

These options are not available on the three-door Golf GTI, which is offered only in a ‘Pure’ specification trim and is available on a BTO (built-to-order) basis. Another catch is that the cheaper three-door version goes without many of the bits and pieces that are standard on the five-door model.

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With the more affordable price, out goes the bi-xenon headlights, replaced by halogens, while 17-inch ‘Brooklyn’ wheels are in place over the five-door’s standard 18s. Also deleted are LED fog lights, electric foldable side mirrors, auto wipers, cruise control, and, get this, parking sensors.

We’re not done yet, either. The 5.8-inch screen is replaced by a smaller 5.0-inch display that goes without USB or Bluetooth connectivity. Also, automatic climate control is replaced by a manual unit, and the number of speakers is halved from eight to four. Too bad Volkswagen Malaysia didn’t go one step further and specify a manual gearbox to go with it.

There are four colours to choose from – carbon steel grey metallic, tornado red solid, pure white solid and deep black pearl. Do keep in mind that the car will be launched in all Volkswagen showrooms this Saturday, August 24. So if you want to check out Volkswagen’s hot-hatch, you know where – and when – to do so.

UPDATE: We’ve already driven the new Golf GTI Mk7 at the international press drive event in Saint Tropez. Read our review of Volkswagen’s latest do-it-all hot-hatch here.