If you’re a Golf GTI fan then this month in the one you’ve been waiting for because October is THE month the new Golf GTI will be released in Australia.
The very first Golf GTI was released way back in 1976 and it had just 81kW of power … the new Golf GTI has twice that power, a whole lot more torque and faster acceleration than ever before. The new GTI needs just 6.5 seconds to reach 100km/h.
Technology has come a long way since that first Golf GTI and such features as Driver Fatigue Detection, Driving Profile Selection, Adaptive Cruise Control and Extended Electronic Differential Lock that are all included on the new GTI were just science fiction back in 1976.
As you would expect the Golf GTI shares the same body with other models in the Golf range but of course there are some differences.
The GTI gets, red-painted brake callipers, smoked rear lights, a lower front spoiler with black aerodynamic louvres, chrome tipped exhaust tail pipes (left and right), red chrome strip and GTI badges on the radiator grill, black side sill panel extensions, rear bumper with black diffuser and a rear roof spoiler with black aerodynamic extensions.
18×7.5inch alloy wheels round complete the GTI ‘look’ of the new Golf. There’s more to the body than just a hot ‘look’ … as with all models in the Golf range the GTI comes with side intrusion protection and a rigid safety cell that is further protected by front and rear crumple zones.
The GTI weights in at 1,380kg for the manual or 1,356kg for the auto.
The new Golf GTI is powered by a 2.0 litre 4-cylinder inline turbocharged direct injection petrol engine that powers the front wheels and delivers 162kW of power between 4500rpm and 6200rpm. Maximum torque of 350Nm is available between 1500rpm and 4400rpm.
Of course an engine like this is not going to run on anything but premium unleaded with a minimum of 98RON.
Getting all that power to the road surface involves a 6-speed manual transmission as standard or a 6-speed dual clutch auto … with paddles … as an option.
More power and more torque often means more fuel consumption but Volkswagen have been able to achieve the exact opposite with the new Golf GTI. Internal engine modifications including a new thermal management systems have produced a 19 per cent improvement in fuel economy.
The manual GTI returns 7.7L/100km in city driving and 5.3L/100km on the open road while the auto version returns 8.3L/100km in the city and 5.5L/100km on the highway.
The engine on both the auto and manual version of the GTI is fitted with a Stop/Start system that automatically turns the engine off when the vehicle is stopped in traffic and the automatically turns the engine on as soon as the accelerator is depressed.
The suspension on the new Golf GTI includes what Volkswagen calls Adaptive Chassis Control and it’s only available on the GTI. This system incorporates electrically controlled dampers that constantly adjust to the road conditions, the driving situation and driver’s requirement.
There are three settings … Normal, Comfort and Sport … and this system is part of the Driver Profile Selection.
Once again Volkswagen have included a unique fabric in the upholstery in the new Golf GTI and there’s also a leather upholstery and door trim available as an optional extra. Of course sports seats with additional side support are standard in the GTI.
The rear seats split 60/40 to give you more luggage space. With the rear seat fully upright there’s 380 litres of luggage space and this increases to 1270 when the seats are folded.
Brake, clutch and accelerator pedals all have an aluminium finish, some switches have chrome highlights and there are decorative inlays on the instrument surrounds, centre console and passenger side dashboard and doors.
Dual zone automatic climate control air conditioning with air quality and humidity sensor and dust/pollen filters is standard on the new GTI.
The instrumentation includes all the usual displays incorporated in a multi-function colour display that includes screen transitions with animations and a lap-timer.
The sound system controls and satellite navigation system are incorporated into the centre stack that includes a 5.8-inch colour touch screen. The sound system includes eight speakers and the driver can also control it from buttons mounted on the steering wheel.
Controls for the dashboard displays, the cruise control and mobile phone are also mounted on the steering wheel. The GTI steering wheel features leather trim with red stitching and brushed aluminium inserts.
The new Golf GTI comes with a full suite of safety features including all the standards and a few you may not have seen before.
The Driver Fatigue Detection System is standard across the entire golf range. It automatically analyses the driving characteristics and warns the driver if those characteristics indicate possible fatigue. If the warning is ignored it is repeated after 15 minutes.
The Driving Profile Selection gives the driver a wide range of settings to choose from that adjust the way the car operates and handles.
Three-point seat belts are fitted for all occupants and the belts for the driver and front-seat passenger are height adjustable and fitted with pre-tensioners and belt force limiters.
The airbag system includes driver and front-passenger airbags and side airbags, driver’s knee airbag and side-curtain airbags front and rear.
Pricing for the new Golf GTI starts at $41,490 (the manufacturer’s recommended retail that does not include dealer and government charges) for the 6-speed manual and you can add another $2,500 for auto and then there are a number of options that can really take the price up.