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.
The new Volkswagen Golf GTI: the photos
The new Golf Gti digitized and connected to the network, fast (250 km / h), powerful (245 hp). The innovations of the eighth series are inside, outside and under the skin: new front design, which for the first time sports an illuminated radiator grille and LED fog lights arranged in an X-shape. New inside, with the start / stop button on the start that pulses with red light, the sports steering wheel with touch controls and the shift-by-wire lever of the DSG gearbox (dual clutch) with characteristic curves. New the all-digital interface of the dashboard (the Digital Cockpit), as well as the We Connect services that introduce streaming, web radio and other online features.
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.
The second series: 1984-1991 The second series managed to repeat the success of the first, initially with the same 112 HP 1.8, then with different engines between 107 and 160 HP. In 1986 a new 16V unit with four valves per cylinder arrived, which with 139 HP pushed to 208 times. The attitude of the was 10 mm lower than the normal Golf. The cockpit featured sport seats, a black sky and a four-spoke steering wheel with four round horn buttons. In 1990 the Gti G60 arrived at the top of the range. Thanks to the supercharging through G-Lader compressor, its 1.8 delivered 160 HP and pushed it up to 219 km / h. In total, approximately 628,000 Golf Gti second series were produced.
The third series: 1991-1997 At launch, the third generation was fitted with the two-valve 2.0 petrol engine per 115 hp cylinder. Which about a year later was replaced by a 16V 150 HP. This engine accelerated the Gti from 0 to 100 in 8.7 seconds and pushed it up to 215 times. In 1996, twenty years after the birth of the GTI, the celebratory model GTI Edition 20 was presented, characterized by BBS alloy wheels and available in three engines: 2.0 115 HP, 2.0 16V 150 HP and, for the first time, a 1.9 110 HP TDI (from 0 to 100 in 10.3 seconds; 193 km / h). In total, approximately 327,000 Golf Gti third series were produced.
The fourth series: 1998-2003 The fourth generation continued under the banner of the sober elegance of the previous series, updating it with innovative technical contents and extraordinary agility. Among the most characteristic elements are the BBS alloy wheels, the burnished rear lights and, inside, the Recaro anatomic seats. This was the generation that, most of all, offers a wide choice of engines: from the 110 HP of the TDI for access to the 170 HP of the 2.3 5-cylinder petrol VR5. At the heart of the family was the 1.8 petrol turbo, a four-cylinder in-line engine with five valves per cylinder that delivered 150 hp, capable of pushing from 0 to 100 km / h in 8.5 seconds and up to 216 hours. Almost identical performances were achieved by the most powerful TDI, which in the final evolution also reached 150 HP. For the 25 years the special series GTI Edition 25 was made, limited to 3,000 specimens. In addition to the dedicated and matching aerodynamic appendages, it also featured the 180 HP 1.8 turbo which pushed from 0 to 100 km / h in 7.9 seconds and up to 222 km / h. 164,859 units were produced in the fourth series.
The fifth series: 2004-2008 With the fifth generation, in the fall of 2004 the Golf GTI made a comeback in style. The design was much more characterized and strongly recalled the typical elements of the first GTI, such as the red profile around the front grille and the squared seat upholstery. The engine was dedicated exclusively to the GTI: a 2.0 TFSI turbo petrol engine of 200 HP. Equipped for the first time with the six-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox, the GTI accelerated from 0 to 100 in 6.9 seconds and reached 233 hours. For the birthday of the thirty years, in 2006 the GTI Edition 30 arrived, with the 2.0 TFSI 230 HP. Same maximum power for another special series, the 2007 Gti Pirelli: a tribute to the first generation of the same name. In total, approximately 181,800 Golf GTI fifth series were produced.
The sixth series: 2009-2012 This Golf GTI redefines the concept of traction, thanks to the XDS transverse electronic differential lock as standard, and brings with it an absolute novelty: in 2012, the first Gti Cabriolet debuted. Equipped with electric fabric hood, the convertible went from 0 to 100 in 7.3 seconds and reached 237 hours (235 with the DSG). The engine was a new 2.0 TSI 210 HP and 280 Nm, the same that allowed the “closed” variant to accelerate from 0 to 100 in 6.9 seconds and reach 240 (238 with the dual clutch gearbox). The sixth series also had its “special” le: the Edition 35, with the 2.0 TSI of 235 HP (247 km / h). In total, 199,903 sixth series were produced.
The seventh series: 2013-2020 In 2013, the seventh GTI was launched, which is already available in two powers: 220 hp and, for the Performance variant, 230. The car is equipped with a new differential lock on the front axle. At the beginning of 2016, the 265 HP Clubsport arrives, which can temporarily reach 290 thanks to the boost. Performance? From 0 to 100 in 6.3 seconds and 250 km / h. The Golf GTI Clubsport S was presented in May 2016 at Wrthersee: a limited edition of 400 units, three doors and two seats, with a 2.0 TSI 310 HP engine. In fact, a competition car. In fact, he breaks the lap record for front-wheel drive production cars on the Nburching Nordschleife circuit, stopping the clock on the time of 07:49:21. In 2017, the update of the seventh Golf also affects the GTI, proposed with powers of 230 HP for the standard and 245 for the Performance. The special series that closes the history of this generation is the GTI TCR: the 2.0 TSI with 290 HP and 380 Nm of torque allows it to cover the 0-100 km / h in 5.6 seconds and to go up to 260 km / h of maximum speed, thanks to the removal of the speed limiter.
March 25, 2020 (change March 25, 2020 | 18:21)
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