VW has released details of the latest incarnation of the Golf GTI
25 September 2008

The latest VW Golf GTI, which is due to make its debut next week at the Paris motor show, uses the reskinned Golf's wide, shallow upper grille to underpin the front of the hot hatch with a dominant, road-eating lower grille.

"The effect is to visually widen the GTI to make it look much more aggressive and sporty," said exterior design chief Mark Lichte.

The aggressive styling of the new Volkswagen Golf GTI will become the family look for the next generation of GTI-badged Volkswagens.

This combination of design elements will become a consistent feature of all future GTI models, such as the Polo. "I'm not saying there will be a Scirocco GTI," explained Lichte, "but if there is, it would have the same graphic treatment."

The visual emphasis on the base of the front bumper changes the stance of the sixth-generation GTI, claims Lichte. To reinforce this, the foglamps have been repositioned at the extremes of the lower grille. "On the old car the fogs were about 150mm in from the headlamps; now they're outboard," he said.

Volkswagen believes that the Mk5 Golf GTI appeared taller than it was because of the front grille and dumpy, three-piece lower intake. But whether such changes are sufficient to distinguish the Mk6 GTI from the Mk5 remains to be seen.

New alloy wheels would have helped, but VW has decided to continue with the current five-hole alloys, adding a minor tweak. Instead of being finished with grey paint, they've got gloss black inside the holes.

A strong plus point is the Mk6's higher-quality interior. The Golf GTI builds on this with the extensive use of Audi-style illuminated switchgear and backlighting. Other parts such as the seats and steering wheel are carried over, but modified.

The flat-bottomed wheel is retrimmed with a different leather, while the seats get tweaks to the cushioning and trim material.

Other details that VW has worked on include the exhaust pipes. These have moved to the far left and right of the rear bumper moulding. "Large, single exhaust pipes positioned at the edges of the rear bumper will be a GTI feature in future," said Lichte.

A key aim has been to beef up the Golf shape without a body kit or spoilers. "We're really proud of the clean, simple shapes. We don't want unnecessary add-ons that increase weight."

When it goes on sale next spring, the new GTI will be powered by a version of the EA888 2.0-litre turbo engine used in the Edition 30 version of the Mk5 GTI, with 207bhp and 206lb ft of torque. In its latest guise the GTI covers the 0-62mph dash in 7.2sec and goes on to 149mph.

The Mk6 GTI will also benefit from DCC adaptive damping and VW's XDS electronic differential.A 265bhp, four-wheel-drive R version is expected later to replace the V6 R32.

Julian Rendell

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Golf

Just how good is the mighty Volkswagen Golf? The seventh generation of Europe's best selling car has been facelifted to keep its nose ahead of its rivals

Join the debate

Comments
21

25 September 2008

"Same alloys, slightly re-painted". This smacks of major cost cutting. Tut Tut.

PHB

25 September 2008

The increased quality inside the cabin is very noticeable but the overall design of the car is a huge disappointment. While the standard Golf looks ok, in my opinion the GTI really misses the mark from a design point of view. The other thing is I yet have to read an article posting about the weight of the mk6, I wonder how much bigger it got...Right now I'm thinking either mk5 GTI or mk5 R32 over the mk6.

25 September 2008

In terms of design, I'd stick with the Mk 5 GTI. The only redeeming features of the new model are possibly the side view mirrors and steering wheel. Couldn't VW at least manage to include a new set of rims to go with the car?

25 September 2008

[quote kirin98]In terms of design, I'd stick with the Mk 5 GTI.  The only redeeming features of the new model are possibly the side view mirrors and steering wheel.  Couldn't VW at least manage to include a new set of rims to go with the car? [/quote] Spot on. I think the new one looks good, but there's not enough about it to make me want to buy one over a decent second hand MK5 version. However, I'm glad they kept the old rims - they look great and it also means that if I do buy a MK5 it will still look up to date.

dgs

25 September 2008

This was originally reported as the same engine as the new A4 (2.0TFSI 211PS). However the A4 Avant manages 0-62 in 7.1s vs. the new GTI's reported 7.2 and CO2 figures are reported elsewhere as 178 g/km vs. 160 g/km for A4 Avant.

As the A4 is a heavier car, this must be an inferior engine, but why when the Audi engine is avilable?

25 September 2008

All new Golfs have been evolutionary. The mark six, GTi or other, is no different.

25 September 2008

I could not agree more. I even recall it was Autocar who published the exclusive that said it would have the variable valve Audi 2.0TFSI engine.

So, Autocar, or anyone sensible, why are VW missing such an obvious trick here?

At least a new engine with more power, less emissions, better performance and better consumption would offset the more visible carryovers from the Mk V, like those blingy wheels....

25 September 2008

To not use this latest engine , and fit old model wheels is totally illogical.

Rather have the scirocco.

25 September 2008

[quote RobotBoogie]All new Golfs have been evolutionary[/quote] I agree, but now it's hard even to see where the evolution is...

25 September 2008

[quote Bottie]

I could not agree more. I even recall it was Autocar who published the exclusive that said it would have the variable valve Audi 2.0TFSI engine.

[/quote]

As far as I know, the Golf GTI VI's engine is the same as the Audi 2.0TFSI, in say the A4, being the EA888 and not the previous EA113, but as you say, it does not have the Audi Valvelift System head, which gives the circa 50-70Nm greater torque and a litre or so less fuel consumption per 100km.

I suppose all one can say is VW Audi need to keep a distance in the marketplace. Audi pushes their Valvelift System as part of the reason and price-justification for buying say an A4 over a Passat or a Superb. Plus VW themselves need to keep headroom above the 210PS GTI for a 4wd successor to the R32 with probably a version of the Audi S3 motor or TTS motor instead of a thirsty V6.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    It's got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again