Three letters to write a long story: Gti. That is: the sporty, touring version of the Golf. Ladies and gentlemen, the eighth series. That arrives (was presented in early March) almost a quarter of a century after the birth of the first generation: it was 1976. Since then, more than two million registrations have accumulated under that label worldwide. In the glorious life (for its industrial and social value) of Golf, a chapter on its own.

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The first series: 1976/1983 The idea was original: a compact and light car, a powerful engine and a sporty set-up. When it was launched in 1976, no one could have predicted that the Golf Gti would become a cult object. A 1.6 110 HP engine with electronic petrol injection (1.8 from 82) pushed the car from 0 to 100 km / h in 9.2 seconds and up to 182 hours. The “Pirelli” special edition of 1983, with the 1.8 112 HP and made famous by the alloy wheels with P-shaped holes, was an immediate success. The interior was striking: plaid tartan fabric for the central band of the black seats, black cockpit roof and golf ball-shaped gear knob. Details that are due to Gunhild Liljequist, the first woman to work in Volkswagen design since 1964. “My travels from that period to Great Britain were very inspiring, where I was conquered by high quality fabrics with checked patterns”, explains Liljequist. The shift knob? “That was a totally spontaneous idea – he replies -. We were three and we reflected on all the elements associated with a sports Golf. When I threw the idea, everyone laughed, but then … “. The characteristic “Mars Red” line on the grille, the larger front spoiler, the plastic moldings on the wheel arches and the matte black frame on the rear window were instead ideas of the then chief designer Herbert Schfer. The red, still today synonymous with Gti, was also taken up in the interior in details: from the instrumentation to the decorations on the doors. In total, approximately 462,000 Golf Gti first series were produced.

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