RETRO REVIVAL What defines a classic? Something that’s appreciated by a large majority of people? Something that retains its value or worth way beyond the era it was made in? How about something that gets revived again and again? In the fashion world Levi’s made denim and since the 1950’s we’ve seen all kinds of cuts and styles that we just can’t wait to get our mitts on. In the world of literacy Shakespeare wrote plays that became famous the world over and his work is still re-appropriated by directors today. Then in the automotive world of hot hatches, Volkswagen unleashed the rather retro Golf GTi in 1976. Ever since, this has become more of a symbolic fixture on British seafronts than fish and chips or deckchairs have.
Now nearly thirty years and five marks later, we have the new GTi which certainly has the looks and performance that you would expect from a motor with legendary status. It’s powered by a 200bhp 2.0-litre FSI direct injection petrol engine which is capable of sprinting from 0-62 mph in just 7.2 seconds and on home soil can top speeds of 146mph, where legal.
The German’s also promise us flexible and accessible performance which is achieved by a flat curve of torque from 1,800 to 5,000rpm and the maximum force assumed by the twisting drive shaft is 207lb ft. This power is pumped through beefy 17” alloys which come as standard but if you want an even cosier fit, you can opt for their 18” equivalents. You also have two choices of transmission; a standard six-speed manual gearbox is standard but if you prefer Volkswagen’s DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) then this is an option.
The GTi’s looks certainly match the performance and those keen to modify it will certainly have a job make it look much racier! The front end is well distinguished by attention-grabbing serif-style GTi badging which is nested in a black honeycomb grille with red frame. Following this bold ‘noir’ theme, the side sills are also painted black and have a wider dimension. To add elegance to the interior, you may consider looking for the best options for your car seats. This will not only give aesthetic for your car but it will also protect and maintain the quality of the car seats.
Wolfsburg’s star-studded GTi also has three large scoops to suck the air in through and its sturdy, athletic handling can be attributed to the tuned and lowered suspension. In addition the GTi features red brake callipers, blue heat reflective windows, twin exhaust pipes, a rear roof spoiler and circular headlights in tinted housings.
Step inside the cabin and you’ve got race-style seats with extra side bolstering and the GTI logo embroidered into the head restraints. A three-spoke leather sports steering wheel with aluminium trim enhances your sensory pleasure, as does the aluminium gear stick, trim inserts and pedals. Of course you can expect a range of creature comforts such as air-con and a nifty rear-view mirror with automatic dimming; it also has tyre pressure monitoring, rain-sensing wipers, fog lights and ESP. Safety has by no means been compromised and the GTi will cushion you with six airbags, should the need arise.
In a nutshell then, the GTi has got dimensions to wow, acceleration to stun and build quality to last. We reckon this revamped retro legend will surely draw in more fans than a boy band concert and certainly have a much longer lifespan. As for being a seafront favourite, well the boy racers of yesteryears will always be suckers for high performance. However the GTi also has a more refined appeal and demands even greater status due to a more grown-up price tag.