The iconic hot hatch will be offered with a new 2.0 turbo petrol engine with two different power outputs: 217bhp and 227bhp.
The low-power engine will be in a standard version of the new model. It will be able to crack 0-62mph in 6.6sec. New features include a progressive steering system that's designed to be light and easy while manoeuvring but more sporty and direct at speed.
The lightweight MQB platform that underpins the car and the new engine help improve economy over its predecessor to a claimed 47mpg.
VW R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg describes the new model as "Low weight", offering "outstanding performance in a car that's both comfortable and sporty".
The 155mph 227bhp version of the GTi will come with a host of other upgrades for a more focused drive. Hackenberg said: "It's not just performance with the more powerful model - there's a new differential and bigger brakes, too."