History of the Volkswagen Golf GTI – All the models and details
4 years ago

History of the Volkswagen Golf GTI – All the models and details

Talk about a current car with a lot of history behind it, is to speak of the Volkswagen Golf. A model that was born in 1974 and that it would soon become a car iconic, with millions of fans around the world that still to this day appreciate the great work of the German firm in each and every one of their seven generations. However, it is very likely that this model would never have come to be what it is without the versions of best performance with the acronym GTI that were born with the Volkswagen Golf GTI 40 years ago, in 1976, two years after the launch of the first generation.

GTI three letters that every lover of the motor you should remember the best years of the automotive. When you hear the acronym GTI think of the fun, small, fast, intimate and economic cars of the 80’s. Some vehicles produced to enjoy his commanders, that transmit sensations from the steering wheel to the seat, passing through the three pedals and the shifter. Noise, vibration, and materials that today would leave much to be desired for the majority of customers, but so were born the GTI and as well fell in love with all the that led any of them.

however, and although nowadays we may use (both as passionate about cars as the vast majority of marks) the acronym GTI to refer to the compact models of high-performance, there is only one GTI original, and it is the Volkswagen Golf GTI. That is why, in this 40th anniversary of the model, we want to render a special tribute, a tribute that it deserves. Let’s review the seven generations of the Golf GTI since its first launch in 1976 until our days, passing through each of the seven generations of GTI (and later), that the mark of the “people’s car” has been awarded to your model to be most representative of the last few decades.

Golf GTI the first generation (MK1) 1976 – 1984

the story of The birth of the Volkswagen Golf 1 GTI is of the most curious. An engineer employee of the German brand wanted to make a Golf more prestacional versions of “normal”. He commented on the idea to the high positions of the brand even though, according to legend, these were denied to the project. Such was the conviction of the employee with a sport variant of the compact German, that decided to develop it behind the backs of senior positions.

Introduced a 1.6 engine with indirect injection and Bosch k-Jetronic gasoline, which reached its maximum power of 110 hp past the 6,000 rpm, coupled to a gear box of four speeds. To improve the cornering reduced the height of the suspension a couple of inches. The tests of this modified model did not give rise to doubts, and that is significantly improved the behavior compared to the versions “normal” and the cost of production was acceptable.

thus, in 1975, the Volkswagen Golf powered arrived at the Frankfurt motor show. As they wanted it to be slightly different on an aesthetic level, you are presented with the seat upholstery frames that today are still marketed, the famous gear knob simulating a golf ball, and some profiles of red color on the front grille in addition to, how not, the acronym GTI that respond to “Gran Turismo Injection”. With 110 hp and a weight of 800 kilograms, the Golf GTI was a car usable on a daily basis and enough for those who wanted an extra pepper in your compact, and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 9 seconds.

The main idea was to market a print-run of 5,000 units; a barrier that the guys from Volkswagen had to be removed from the head after a few weeks of launch in 1976. The acceptance on the part of the market and this sporty small dimensions could not be better and the high charges they had to give the reason to that engineer that potentiated the Volkswagen Golf to become the Golf GTI.

Three years after they decided to make an update on the compact 3.7 metres, varying slightly in aesthetics and entering a transmission of five relationships. later introduced engine 1.8 that, despite only getting 2 hp more, raised their torque and allowing us to reduce the time in 0 to 100 up to 8.2 seconds. Also would any special edition as the Golf Pirelli-GTI. The years passed and, with the change of generation of the Volkswagen Golf, the GTI original neared the end of his days. Luckily we have had and we keep having a GTI for many years, although the Golf 1 GTI is the one to which most fondly we usually have.

Golf GTI second generation (MK2) 1984 – 1992

it was the year 1983 and Volkswagen presented the second generation of the Golf, the Volkswagen Golf 2. Kept the essence of its predecessor, though now it was with a greater habitability achieved thanks to a few new dimensions which grew to almost 4 metres in the total length of the new compact. With the great results that the Golf 1 GTI was given to the brand in the previous years, Volkswagen took to create and launch this particular version sports the Golf of second-generation.

Golf 2 GTI appeared for the first time in 1984, keeping the same propeller of 1,800 cubic centimeters and 8 valves of the first generation, although it slightly increases its power until the 112 hp. The largest dimensions and the virtually indifferent to the increase of power made the Volkswagen Golf GTI is dulcificara shyly, although it was still a car very fun of driving.

as in the first generation, the variants GTI wanted to distinguish themselves aesthetically versions of the more conventional Golf. Therefore, they returned to repeat the same formula as in the Golf 1 GTI, introducing the acronym GTI, a grill distinguished with a red line, and red accents in addition to upholstered frames in the interior, some elements that have been followed with the Golf GTI to our day, in practically all generations of the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Also, in this second generation, the knob of the shifter was a nod to a golf ball of black color.

Golf GTI Pirelli

To not lose attributes, Volkswagen launched in 1985, a new version of the Golf 2 GTI with a block of 1,800 cc again, though using a cylinder head 16-valve. The power would in this case until the 139 hp, a power more than decent for a car of the era. However, just a year after, the policy’s anti-pollution did enter a catalyst in the exhaust, you would lose 5 hp to 8 valves and 10 hp to 16 valves.

The decade of the 80s ended and we walked into the fabulous 90’s. Just in 1990 the German brand of Wolfsburg decided that was a good time to launch an update of the compact, with some mild cosmetic changes to give a final push to the sales of the Golf 2, that only two years after they cease production. But the most important occurred in 1990 in the “world Golf” was the introduction of two variants taking as a basis the version GTI 8-valve: the Golf G60 and Golf Rallye.

Both variants were introduced the system of overeating by compressor volumetric G (which also would take the Pole in the version G40). Thanks to this important improvement mechanics, the Golf G60 raised his power up to 160 hp, going completely unnoticed because the body was virtually identical to that of the GTI 8v, while changing your tires. In the case of the variant Rally, aesthetically it was more exclusive with fins wider, lenses front is rectangular in shape and the bumpers painted in the same color of the body. In addition, the Rally formed part of a system all-wheel-drive Syncro, that marked the difference when needed a great traction. Unfortunately, only manufactured 5,000 units on the Golf Rallye and at a price unattainable for the society average.

Golf GTI third generation (MK3) 1992 – 1998

In 1991, Volkswagen showed to the public the third generation of the Golf, the Volkswagen Golf 3. A generation in the his model gave a great leap, but, to the sportiness of the tourism is concerned, one could say that he lost. However, and despite the fact that the more purist who had already “tasted” any of the two previous generations were disappointed, records of sales of Golf 3 indicate that this generation was effective.

The new Golf, MK3, improved in many aspects, especially in equipment and safety. Aesthetically “joined” the two headlight bulbs per corner of the MK2 for the main lighting in the front are located in a single light, although the indicators remained at a lower position and independing. The rear barely changed, while maintaining the main ways of its predecessor. On the other hand, the Golf 3 was available in three body versions: 3-door, 5-door and the family Golf Variant.

however, and despite use a good part of the chassis of the Golf 2, its length, grow back, which allowed him to have a cabin very comfortable. But to grow your volume, it also increased its weight, so, and now with greater clarity, the Golf GTI lost a lot of fun in this third generation. Yes, thanks to the inclusion of airbags, ABS and a structure more studied, gave a great leap as to what security is concerned.

But better let’s focus on the version that all this extensive article we are occupying, the GTI. In terms of the aesthetics of the Golf 3 GTI, there were not many differences in comparison with the changes that received the GTI predecessors with respect to models of lower range.

The Golf GTI third-generation came to be available with two engines different and left side blocks of up to 1,800 cc in favor of the 2 litres. The main difference mechanically between the two versions came to be in the cylinder head. Volkswagen marketed the Golf 3 GTI with less power with a cylinder head 2 valves per cylinder, which gave 115 hp to full performance. He declared the trademark, it could make the 0 to 100 km/h in 9.9 seconds and homologaba a consumption of 7.8 litres per 100 km

Months after the launch of the GTI 8-valve come the second version of the GTI 16-valve. to give a power of 150 hp at 6,000 rpm, and reaches the 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds, figures similar to those of the GTI original. Meanwhile, his mixed-use approved was 9 litres, though in reality they were impossible to reach. Thanks to the engine of 150 hp, the most passionate of the GTI spared to make the guests sportiness of the variant of 8 valves.

Despite all of this, again we must mention two versions that, while not belonging to the range of Volkswagen Golf 3 GTI, were very influential in this third generation of the model. First, and although it is possible that the most amateur to the compact high-performance I to criticize (I ask forgiveness), we must comment that the Golf MK3 was the first Golf that used a diesel engine of direct injection. The TDI arrived at the Golf course. With a 1.9 litre engine delivering 90 hp with a consumption very content and, subsequently, would another variant of 110 bhp.

The second version outside of the family GTI that we wanted to mention is the Golf VR6. The Volkswagen Golf VR6 used a motor very unusual, since it was an intermediate point between a V engine and an inline engine, and are known as “narrow V”, and that is that the two banks made a small angle of 15 degrees. In total, the volume of the cylinders was up to 2800 cc and its power was nothing less than 174 cv. All this power is sent equally in the front axle, and can go from 0 to 100 km/h in just 7 seconds, while provided a sound characteristic and spectacular.

Volkswagen Golf VR6

For many, this Golf 3 GTI was not a vehicle worthy of carrying these acronyms for the reasons quoted above. However, it was one of the generations of the GTI more sold and, to this day, it is easy to see daily several Golf GTI MK3 by our streets with several hundreds of thousands of miles in your marker. The marketing of this generation ended in Europe in 1998, giving way to the release of your natural generational shift, the Golf 4.

Golf GTI fourth generation (MK4) 1998 – 2003

The fourth generation of the Volkswagen Golf appeared in the year 1998 and, with it, came the traditional variant of performance upgrades, the Golf 4 GTI. As in the generation jump previous to the passing of the Golf 3 to Golf 4, there were many changes, but still keeping a design too continuist; and it is the mark of the “people’s car” have always had the philosophy that “if something works, why change it too much?”.

In this way it came to Volkswagen Golf 4 GTI. As the recipe aesthetics of his predecessor liked to the public, changed a few ingredients. An external image slightly more current for the time, a few riders in the rear is very different to the previous, tires of new designs, improvements in the qualities and et voila, you have the body of the Golf 4. In the interior, the new Golf received a dashboard that’s virtually identical to the one used by the Volkswagen Passat of the time, that there had been a year before. Despite the fact that its design was not very daring, the materials and settings were higher to most of the competition.

The greatest hits that many saw the Volkswagen Golf GTI of this generation was its aesthetics. Beyond the wheels to BBS and the acronym GTI that appeared in the tailgate, it was impossible to distinguish it from the rest of versions of the compact German, and is on the inside, nor were there any clear changes that differed from the rest. Volkswagen was aburguesando myth, also on the aesthetic plane.

already Entering the section mechanic, Golf 4 GTI again use a block of 1,800 cc. In this case, the cylinder head was made by a total of 20 valve, using also turbo to improve its performance. The power was at 150 hp, but the best part of this mechanics was his kick thanks to the turbo, not needed to climb both laps the regime of turning to get a good feeling of acceleration.

The 1.8 Turbo was delivering its maximum power at 5,700 rpm, while maximum torque of 210 Nm was available from only 1,750 rpm and up to something over 4,500. This, combined with the manual change of five relations allowed him to pass from 0 to 100 in 8.5 seconds, reaching a maximum speed of 216 km/h according to the German company. Consumption mixed approved were 7.8 l/100.

With the same power but with a mechanical, very different would the Golf VR5. Like the VR6 of the previous generation, it had a strange arrangement of cylinders, with a V close to 15 degrees. However, instead of using the six cylinder, it had only five.

petrolheads criticized, and a lot of, that will be used for the first time abbreviations GTI associated to a mechanical diesel. And is that Volkswagen introduced a version within the range GTI, with the engine 1.9 TDI 150 cv. This mechanic was the same as good results in terms of sales refers to gave the Seat León of the first generation. Of all the generations of the Volkswagen Golf, only in this quarter there has been a GTI diesel, using the acronym GTD to refer to the sport variant with engine oil in all other existing.

In 2001 it was the 25th anniversary of the denomination Volkswagen GTI. That quarter of a century led to the product managers to launch a variant GTI 25th anniversary that, among other things, it was to grow in power until you reach the 180 hp.

Also in this fourth model of the Golf there was one more variant prestacional above the GTI, the Volkswagen Golf R32. Came in 2002 with a six-cylinder engine in V atmospheric 3.200 cc and 241 hp, which is transmitted to the asphalt through all four wheels thanks to the system of all-wheel drive 4Motion of the brand. This version premiered the change of double clutch DSG, although it also was available with manual shift mode.

The commercial life of the Golf 4 in the old continent ended throughout the year 2003, giving way to his successor.

Golf GTI the fifth generation (MK5) 2003 – 2008

it Seems that the change of century and millennium did a dent to the ideas of design within the brand of Wolfsburg. In 2003, landed the fifth generation of the popular German model, Volkswagen Golf 5, with a brutal change from the fourth Golf. Was relocated to a new platform, updated engines, earned space, it grew in size outside (again to increase your weight) and to introduce some technologies much more successful.

To dynamic level, and in all versions, the Golf introduced for the first time, the system of rear suspension, multi-link, which ensures a great “paste” from the rear axle to the asphalt in almost any situation and a great driving comfort on expressways.

while in the section of the Golf 4 we talked about a dashboard that was very well finished off, in the case of this generation we must repeat it. Remained sober, very German, and is also used in the Passat or Touran, but the quality of settings was exquisite and it was more current for the time.

In the case of the variant GTI, I have a greater differentiation aesthetics with regard to their brothers-in-range, although the outside was not as flashy as many would have liked. The bumpers were different, they were appearing red accents on the calender main, these wheels are very eye-catching and distinct from the rest of the models, and two exhaust outlets to a side. In the cockpit, the Golf 5 GTI recovered their seats with upholstered boxes lost previously, and a dashboard that was differentiated from the rest of versions among other things.

Going on to what really matters in this article, the Volkswagen Golf GTI the fifth generation introduced, for the first time, the gasoline direct injection with turbo. Used a tetracilíndrico TFSI 2-liter with a supercharger for turbo yielded 200 hp between the 5100 and 6000 rpm, in addition to a torque of 280 Nm between 1,800 and 5,000 rpm. In this way, the Gran Turismo Injection had a good energy to virtually any regime of rotation. Optionally, the Golf 5 GTI could associate with the change robotic dual-clutch DSG.

in Spite of remaining a car usable in the day-to-day, its greater weight, surface area exposed to the air and power, although it had a injection technology for modern and resource-saving, the fuel consumption remained somewhat elevated, homologando 8 liters virtually impossible to achieve in the daily routine.

on the other hand, with approximately 1,500 kg of weight was able to stop the clock in at 6.9 seconds in the 0 to 100 km/h, touching the 233 km/h top speed and go the mythical route old Nürburgring in less than 9 minutes. However, its driving dynamics, while allowed to drive very fast with him, lost some of the sensations that are transmitted to the driver. The positive side is that the limits were very high and it was possible to drive it at speeds high with a high sense of security.

In this generation there was also a Volkswagen Golf R32 that came to market in 2005. With regard to the R32 of the fourth generation, the fifth, the maximum power was up to the 250 cv, which reached over 6,000 rpm, while the torque was 320 Nm. Its top speed was 250 km/h and took only 6.5 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h. An authentic plane.

In 2006, the Volkswagen Golf GTI has met its 30th anniversary. This led the brand to launch a special edition with more character, the Golf GTI “Edition 30”. The main difference was given a greater power delivery of the 2-liter TFSI, which got 30 horses more to get to the 230 cv, while its torque went from 280 to 300 Nm. Those 30 horses and 20 Nm more, got the Golf GTI 30th anniversary could perform the 0 to 100 in 6,6 seconds and reach 245 km/h.

The Golf 5 GTI left his marketing in Europe at the end of 2008. Perhaps this generation of the GTI has been the most balanced between performance, comfort and safety, although the following, as we will see below, they got over it in another aspect which we say that it usually does not matter in a car of this nature but it really does matter: the consumption.

Golf GTI sixth generation (MK6) 2009 – 2012

Despite the fact that the mark was announced as a new model, the Golf 6 was not more than an upgrade of the Golf 5; and not a generational shift. We always say that generational changes are usually done every 8 years approximately, while the MK5 made its debut in 2003 and was retired in 2008. The MK6 saw the light in 2008, to disappear finally in 2012. Therefore, the real-life model was of 9 years.

Curiosities aside, the Golf 6 is depicted with an appearance very similar to that of its predecessor. On the outside they appeared slight changes in the bumpers, front grille, headlights and pilots later, these last with some forms more rounded instead of the angular of the previous generation. If something characterizes both the MK5 as the MK6 was good to shoot in all type of roads and the good note that I was getting in all aspects; it was not outstanding in any, but yes more than remarkable in all of them.

Although the Golf 6 came to the market at the end of 2008, it was not until 2009 when the version GTI landed in dealerships in europe. To dynamic level there were few changes beyond the 10 hp extra. The GTI MK6 used the same 2.0 TSI four-cylinder, but going from the 200 to the 210 horses.

As in all generations up to the time, the Golf 6 GTI was front wheel drive. These 10 cv of more were not enough to get to stop the clock before his predecessor in the 0 to 100, needing also to 6.9 seconds. However, using a electronic system called XDS that did the times of a limited-slip differential, which allowed him to come out faster cornering twisty, being able to sink the right pedal before you have the car completely straight. On the other hand, the tip speed is declared passed 233 km/h 240 km/h.

finally, with respect to the Golf 6 GTI, practically we can not mention more data and differences with its predecessor. They were virtually the same vehicle just with a slightly different design and 10 hp more.

the sixth installment of The Volkswagen Golf was not a variant R32, but with the Golf R. Left out the V6 3.2-liter in favor of a tetracilíndrico of 2 liters with turbocharging is much more efficient. This variant yielded a few more to keep in mind 271 hp, which is transmitted back to the four wheels through the system traction 4Motion.

In 2011, the Golf GTI celebrated its 35 birthday and, practically as it was already tradition, it was presented a commemorative edition of the Golf GTI. As happened 5 years earlier, with the edition 30 anniversary of the GTI MK5, this variant increased his power. The 2-liter TSI was sobrepotenciado up to 235 hp, achieving a torque of 300 Nm. Thanks to these figures the 0 to 100 km/h could be done in only 6,6 seconds and the tip speed is almost bordered on the 250 km/h.

The truth is that the Golf 6 GTI, and conventional versions of the sixth generation, although it obtained good sales figures, they passed by the market almost without penalty or glory, giving way to the seventh installment of this saga in 2012.

Golf GTI seventh-generation (MK7) 2013 – ?

we have Already done the review of the first six generations and we face the seventh and, for now, last generation of the Volkswagen Golf. The compact arrived at our dealers, roads, streets, and garages in 2012, although the variant GTI would be available a year later.

Again, on an aesthetic level, we find few changes (at this point, you have been able to see that Volkswagen is a brand that is pretty much of a continuation). It is easily recognizable as a Golf, will look where you look. With respect to the Golf above, in the Golf 7, it appears that only changed headlights, bumper and some details of the interior, although on the outside you could see like Volkswagen left aside the rounded shapes shown on the front of the Golf 5 in favor of a few traits, to something more sharp and slightly more aggressive. However, the evolutionary leap is greater than what it seems, since the main changes are not in sight.

The Volkswagen Golf Mk7 was developed on the new modular platform MQB of the Volkswagen Group, so it was a the vehicle is completely new although to our eyes it seems much to the outgoing model. What I got Volkswagen with this new platform? The German brand could better fit the dimensions of the compact. Increasing the exterior volume and dimensions in all its dimensions, except height, which was reduced freely. The new platform allowed them to take better advantage of every corner of, and it is for this reason that the Golf of the seventh generation would be the Golf with more space in the cabin of the story.

In the interior, in addition, it was observed a new leap in terms of quality, and new equipment. Between them, a dashboard is dominated by a 8-inch touch screen through which they were managed throughout the system that are already beginning to be called infotainment. Also introduced improved systems of driving assistance such as adaptive cruise control with auto braking, automatic parking or a detector of fatigue.

Going to the Volkswagen Golf 7 GTI, re-use the 2 liters of gasoline with supercharging by turbo and direct petrol injection. Now, the sport variant of front-wheel drive yields a power of 220 hp and a torque significantly higher than reaches the 350 Nm. It may seem that the power increase is slight, but what’s more interesting is his way to deliver both those 220 hp as the 350 Nm. Lmaximum power is available from 4,500 to 6,200 rpm, while the 350 Nm of torque delivered between 1,500 and 4,400. This means that in almost all the rev range we will have a good reserve of energy, often referred to, colloquially speaking, as a motor very full.

With these figures and the form of delivery, in addition to a weight of 1,350 kg, the last GTI until the time is able to pass to the 0 to 100 in 6.5 seconds and roll to 246 km/h. On the other hand, their consumption approved (although we already know that is often far from reality) is only 6 liters every 100 kilometers travelled.

Also in 2013, appeared in an edition called the Golf GTI Performance, which had increased in 10 hp the power of the GTI in normal standing as in 230 cv,, while the torque remained identical but arrived at its maximum figure of 350 Nm to 4,600 rpm. The difference in performance was 0.1 seconds faster in the 0 to 100 and a top speed of 4 km/h higher, reaching 248 km/h. However, the element that changed the behavior of the GTI Performance was the incorporation of a limited-slip differential mechanical managed electronically, with a functioning much more “pure” than the XDS Golf 7 GTI conventional.

For its part, also introduced some brake calipers and oversized painted in red color, and tires on 18-inch serial, which were the only way to differentiate it from the GTI to dry. The only negative point was the highest weight since gained 30 pounds, although really worth penalizing with 30 pounds more to have the limited-slip differential called VAQ.

In 2013, the Golf MK7 went back to be available in a version of four-wheel drive more sporty, the Golf R, which had the 2.0 TSI four-cylinder. On this occasion the power of the Volkswagen Golf R to be distributed among the four wheels was 300 hp and the torque of 380 Nm. I could make the 0 to 100 in just 5.1 seconds and its maximum speed was electronically limited to 250 km/h.

Another special edition was the Golf GTI Clubsport, which launched in 2016. Your price in Spain was 38.050 euro, well above the GTI in normal, even though it was a edition very exclusive and only sold 290 units in Spain. Do you think it worth to pay the premium? Probably yes, and is that in addition to its exclusivity, the 2.0 TSI erogaba 265 hp in this version, which is extended to the 290 hp for 10 seconds thanks to a function overboost.

in Addition, the Clubsport had a limited-slip differential and suspension adaptive among other things, improving the overall behaviour of the car. The GTI Clubsport could accelerate from standstill to the 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds and run at a maximum speed of 250 km/h; some of the figures which is quite unusual in a compact front-wheel-drive.

it Seems that to many the GTI Clubsport them knew a little, and to pay homage to the 40th anniversary of the legendary acronym by which we have realized this article, they decided to squeeze this concept a bit more giving place to the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S. Able to stop the clock in the old Nürburgring in 7 minutes and 49 seconds, the GTI Clubsport’s also presented in 2016 yielded 310 hp, it accelerated from 0 to 100 in 5.8 seconds and reached a top speed of 260 km/h. To achieve these extra horses is a modified electronic engine management system and introduced a new fuel pump and a exhaust system improved.

The GTI Clubsport S is limited to 400 units, of which 100 are only marketed in the German market. Another interesting fact is that it has eliminated the habitability of the rear seats, making a radical two-seater. Along with some other part of the car lightened up, could save 30 pounds of weight, although in everyday use are imperceptible, in a track looking for the best time have a high importance.

by 2017 it is expected that Volkswagen might launch a restyling of Golf, or a generational shift. This could bring some variations in the versions with the mythical acronym GTI that we have occupied these lines.

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