Evolution not revolution has always been VW’s motto with the Volkswagen Golf. If there is one car that you can drive that is neither too showy, nor too bland, it’s the GTI. Many competitors have tried to combine the GTI’s blend of performance and subtle style, and all have failed.
Twin exhausts, a honeycomb grill and lower front and real spoilers are visual clues to set it apart from it’s normally aspirated brothers. Alloy wheels are similar to the MK5 Golf, expect 17” as standard not the 19” wheels from the concept model.
Inside, the check pattern of the Mk1 GTI still works, matching the leather steering wheel with red stitching.
Performance is capable if not stunning, with the new 2.0 Turbo engine delivering 207 bhp, up from 197 bhp . The 0-60 time is 7.2 seconds, and top speed is 148mph. Economy is fair, with 37.6mpg one the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 178g/km.
R32 lovers will be disappointed to know that VW do not plan to replace the current model, preferring to build a 265 bhp Golf GTI-R version instead. Anybody who has driven both the GTI and the R32 will know that this makes perfect sense. The R32 has seldom received the fulsome praise that it’s less potent sibling has, and for good reason- it is nowhere near as much fun.
Prices are expected to be around 21k, with an on sale date of Spring 2009