Volkswagen Golf GTI



vw_gti_01The Golf GTI has earned its place as the icon of all compact sports cars. Not only that: The letters GTI have become the symbol of a complete genre of vehicles and the epitome of compact handling dynamics. Now Volkswagen presents at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt the next stage of evolution for this icon of driving pleasure: A Golf GTI concept of the fifth generation. 

This concept personifies sheer GTI culture. Powered by a completely new FSI turbo engine with 147 kW / 200 hp, the two door GTI closes, both conceptionally as well as visually, the circle to the legendary founding vision of Grand Tourisme Injection: The Golf GTI of the year 1976. 

The GTI concept shown in Frankfurt consciously emulates the GTI of the first generation. Therefore it has to be red, it has to have a black radiator grille, and it has to rise above the other models of the series with substantial modifications. After all, the first GTI also distinguished itself by prominent independence.

GTI exterior design

The concept combines traditional GTI features with the front end design of a future generation. Inline with the concept R roadster, presented on 1st September, the GTI also has a striking V motive in the design of the front end. The bonnet features an arrow shaped modulation, which continues the flowing lines in the area of the front skirt to form a frame for the shield-like, highly polished, black radiator grille. The radiator grille features a honeycomb mesh and is surrounded, characteristically for a GTI, by a red trim strip. 

Three large air inlets in the bumper accentuate, as active breathing ports, the performance abilities of the new FSI turbo engine. 

In true GTI style, the underside area of the vehicle features a deep black body kit with sill panels and front and rear skirt end elements. 

In contrast to the Trendline, Comfortline and Sportline versions, the rear end makes its mark characteristically as a GTI with an even more striking roof spoiler and chrome twin tail pipes.

GTI interior design

The entry step trim, pedals and floor panels are all finished in brushed aluminium. As an anti-slip measure, the aluminium is enhanced with rubber strips. The completely new leather sports seats (contoured single seats are also installed in the rear) have an ergonomically perfect and inviting appeal just by looking at them. Take a seat and the appeal is confirmed. The very high backrests, in particular, and adjustable head restraints, integrated here optically, create an ambience of extraordinary sporty functionality. Detailed perfection is a bonus: GTI logos are embroidered into the head restraints. 
GTI steering wheel:As with the first GTI generation of 1976, this GTI concept of 2003 is also distinguished by a three spoke steering wheel with metal elements. The leather steering wheel features a brushed aluminium element in each of the spokes. A further GTI logo is embroidered in the vertical spoke. The moulded grips of the steering wheel are covered in suede, similar to that used in the racing world. 

The instruments in the vehicle were also revamped. Their graphic layout and design give an image of technical precision in its highest form. Each of the round main instruments is surrounded by a ring of machined aluminium.

GTI basis

Technically, the GTI concept features all of the advantages of the Golf series that are generally set as the standard in its class. Included here are the high quality bodywork, the new safety running gear designed for driving dynamics (including ESP and dual brake assist system), the new electro-mechanical steering, the efficient technology of fuel stratified injection (FSI) – enhanced in the case of the GTI with a turbocharger, and the innovative automated direct selection gearbox (DSG).

GTI distinction

With the high output and GTI philosophy in mind, the car features substantially stiffer, but still comfortable, sporty running gear. Newly designed 18 inch alloy wheels, sporting wide tyres, provide the majestic contact with the road and ensure that the larger sized braking system, with red finished brake calipers, is well accommodated. Another new feature is the exhaust system with twin tail pipes. 

Text and photos courtesy of Volkswagen AG

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