Hot hatches are fun, practical, compact and eminently drivable. And we still wonder why they’re not catching on with majority of local motorists. But for the enlightened minority, true gearheads who know the history and pure driving pleasure these cars provide, the arrival of a genuinely sporty hatchback is cause for celebration.
Break out the Paulaner and bratwursts then, because the Volkswagen Golf GTI is here. To the car guys reading this, you can skip to the numbers below. But for those drawn to clicking this story because of the interesting photo of the car, here’s what you have to know.
The GTI is the upgraded version of the VW Golf hatchback, now in its seventh generation. Every iteration of the Golf, starting with the first model in the mid-'70s, has had a GTI version. Since its introduction, the Golf GTI has been a recipient of many motoring awards including European Car of the Year, World Car of the Year and Car of the Year Japan. (Judging by the enthusiasm for this car within the team, its chances of winning our own Car of the Year award are promising.)
A turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine that’s good for 217hp and 350Nm powers the Golf GTI. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission manages power delivery to the 18-inch alloy wheels. Believe us, the acceleration of this machine at full thrust is something to behold. Zero to 100kph is only 6.7 seconds--enough to make the Toyota 86 and the Subaru BRZ eat your dust.
Moderating the scary power are electronic nannies like ESP, anti-slip regulation, electronic differential lock, and engine drag torque control. There are also convenience and safety features like the electronic parking brake, the backing-up camera with park distance control, the driver alert system, and the numerous airbags (driver, passenger, driver’s knee, front side, and curtain).
To remind people that you paid P2,290,000 for a Golf GTI, there are external details that are exclusive to this VW model. The GTI package consists of the aforementioned 18-inch Austin alloy wheels, bumpers, grille, taillights, spoiler and dual tailpipes. Illuminating the way ahead are bi-xenon headlamps with daytime running lights. Inside, you will find GTI premium sports seats with "Clark" (a kind of plaid) material, GTI steering wheel with paddle shifts, GTI shift knob and dual-zone air-conditioning system.
Five colors are available to choose from: Oryx White Pearl, Tornado Red, Night Blue, Limestone Gray and Deep Black Pearl. We’ll have ours in Night Blue, please.
Photos by Dinzo Tabamo