The GTI is a German icon. The car that really did bring performance to the masses has been a staple of Volkswagen’s lineup for more than 30 years. With every generation, the GTI has grown larger and more powerful and now VW has just announced that their sixth generation "hot-hatch" is ready for public consumption.
Recently revealed at the Paris Auto Show, the new GTI takes all the classic cues and applies them to the new face of the Golf. That classic little red line on the grill, the more agressive bumpers and the overall menacing stance all set this new GTI apart from the usual Golf.
On the inside, the GTI carries over its retro style theme with a checkered cloth interior and a chunky, three-spoke steering wheel. The sport seats get a slight makeover, as does the dashboard, but overall, few items carry over from the current model.This new interior once again sets the bar for refinement and build quality in this class.
Powering the latest GTI is the new EA888 corporate four-cylinder engine in turbocharged 2.0-liter form. Developed by Audi as part of a world engine program, the transversely mounted unit kicks out 210 horsepower (10-hp more than the current GTI) but torque remains the same, rising to a peak of 206 pound-feet at just 1,800 rpm. Power goes to the front wheels via either a standard six-speed manual or an optional six-speed double-clutch gearbox that has steering-wheel-mounted paddles and a full automatic mode.
Also, for the first time ever, the 2010 GTI gets an electronic differential called XDS. The new diff operates through an enhanced electronic stability program to help power get to the road in the best way possible.
The biggest news as far as hardware goes though, is the new adaptive damping system known under the name DCC (dynamic chassis control). The system provides the new GTI with three levels of suspension stiffness: normal, comfort and sport. The system also alters mapping of the steering and throttle for sharper and more immediate responses in sport mode.
When it does land on our shores sometime next year, the new sixth generation GTI will surely continue a rich tradition of hearty performance in an economical package. While pricing has not yet been announced, the current car sits at about $23k for the base model, so we can’t imagine the newer one will be that far off, maybe $24k to start, given the new technology this uber Golf employs. I for one can’t wait to get my mitts on one!
VW’s new hot-hatch is looking mighty tasty.