For decades, the Volkswagen Golf GTI has been recognized as the epitome of Hot Hatches, known the world over.
The reason the Golf GTI is the pinnacle of Hot Hatches
The VW Golf GTI is one of the most formidable hot hatches in the world, thanks to its balance of performance and affordability.
The Golf GTI first came about as a Concept car that pushed performance to the extreme yet well-balanced. Introduced in 2007, the Golf GTI W12-650 became a favorite among the folks who visited the Volkswagen festival at Wörthersee that year. A hundred thousand saw the premiere of VW’s pride and joy.
After the Golf GTI concept’s debut, the VW guys started implementing the Golf GTI concept by tapping on resources across the group. To make it happen, the team started off with the simple body of the Mk5 GTI and kept the original production car’s doors, hood and lights.
Next, they incorporated the twin-turbo W12 engine from a Bentley Continental GT that was good for 641 hp; as 12 cylinders physically can’t fit up front, where the four-cylinder turbo engine of the Golf GTI goes, they put the engine right behind the driver, creating a mid-engine GTI. To handle all that power, the Golf GTI concept borrowed the rear axle and brakes from a Lamborghini Gallardo, the front brakes from an Audi RS 4, and the gearbox of a VW Phaeton.
The body of the Mk5 was widened by 6.3 inches, the suspension was lowered by nearly three inches and the car was fitted for massive tyres, measuring 12 inches wide in the rear and nine inches in the front. In addition to a reworked chassis, the finishing touches to the design included reshaped rear windows, a futuristic rear bumper and an expanded air intake section at the front.
The interior for the concept car also reflected its racecar-like attributes. Outfitted in black Alcantara leather, the Golf GTI concept had transparent switch guards for central functions, no door liners and even a fire extinguisher in the glove compartment.
Endowed with a W12 engine, the concept car had as much power as today’s Lamborghini Urus. With all that muscle and rear-wheel power, the concept car wasn’t the easiest to handle but it was certainly fun to drive. Comparable to a racecar, the concept car accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds and achieved a top track speed of 201 mph.
Edited: Volkswagen Group