Volkswagen unveiled the latest version of the best-selling hot hatchback of all time, the mighty Golf GTI. Now in its seventh generation, the GTI comes to the Paris Motor Show in concept form, but with promises that it will go on sale in early 2013. As expected, the recipe has not been changed for this new model, it’s just been tweaked.The GTI is kinda like iPhone in that aspect.
The car still gets its power from a 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbo engine. This time around it makes 220 PS and 350 Nm, which means it can do the classic 0 to 100 km/h run in 6.6 seconds, the less popular 80 to 120 km/h in 5.0 second, and hit a top speed of 246 km/h.
But if that’s not enough, which it obviously isn’t, there is for the firs time a performance pack available as a factory-installed option. It will add 10 PS, doesn’t affect the torque, shaves 0.1 seconds off the 0 to 100 sprint time, and increases the top speed to 250. So… no… it doesn’t make a real difference. Still not enough power.
The GTi Mk7 is a very sophisticated car. It features a trick differential on the front axle with electronically controlled lock, which results in precise handling with minimum torque steer. Speaking of which, the new GTI also has a progressive steering system which does something to the turning circle. You know everytime car makers fiddle with steering system and add something electronic to it, they kill a bit more of the steering feel.
The car also gets 17-inch brakes and 18-inch wheels to house them, and 225/45 size tyres. The usual range of electronic systems are also at hand to help with stability and what not.
In terms of styling and interior, the GTI is of course based on the new generation Golf which to be honest is not a good start. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s not that pretty either. The GTI of course gets it usual subtle garnish such as spoilers, dual exhausts, revised bumpers and grille, and so on. The interior is more interesting, what with its tartan pattern upholstery, flat-bottomed steering wheel, and a new big display.
Along with its many standard features such as air conditioning, fatigue detection and the “Composition Touch” radio system (with CD card slot and AUX-IN interface), other GTI-specific features refine the standard version interior as well: typical of a Volkswagen Golf GTI are the customised sport steering wheel and a special gear shift grip. The latter is once again reminiscent of a golf ball, which also makes it a tribute to the first GTI just like the new leather-trimmed steering wheel design.