Volkswagenâ€™s new Golf VI GTI is now available for order in Europe, with German deliveries to commence in the coming days. The rest of Europe has to wait until after Easter before GTI orders start being filled. For Australian readers, nothing concrete yet from Volkswagen Australia, other than a tease that the car might be here before the year is out.
The production car remains faithful the show car presented at last yearâ€™s Paris Motor Show. The sixth generation GTI is powered by a revised 2-litre TSI turbo charged four cylinder engine. Volkswagen claims this is the fastest, sharpest and greenest standard GTI model yet.
Engine power is rated at 155kW, a modest increase of 8kW from the Mk5 GTI. Torque is still rated at 280Nm, although engine tweaks including modified pistons and piston rings, an improved oil pump, new induction system and a high-pressure fuel pump, mean peak torque is now available from as low as 1700rpm. VW claim the new GTI, with 6 speed manual transmission, can accelerate from rest to 100km/h in 6.9 seconds, or 0.3 seconds faster than the previous model.
Also new in the Mk6 GTI is an electronic differential called XDS. In short this system adapts the carâ€™s ESP system to reduce wheelspin. Electronic limited slip diffs are not always so successful, so it will be interesting to see what Volkwagenâ€™s engineers have come up with.
The new GTI rides 22mm lower and the front and 15mm lower at the rear than its more conservative cousins in the the Golf range. The GTIâ€™s model specific suspension set up employs a familiar multi-link from the previous generation. However, the addition of a new Adaptive Chassis Control system gives the driver more flexibility with the ability to choose from three settings; normal, comfort or sport mode. The system uses pneumatically controlled damper units and as well as altering suspension behaviour it can also controls sharpen steering and improve throttle response.
Apart from that, and the GTI-specific body kit, of course, the rest of the GTIâ€™s features are similar to the entry level Golfs. That means seven airbags as standard and a five star Euro NCAP crash rating.
Autocar.co.uk have published an initial drive review of the GTI and here are a few of their comments:
â€œThe first thing that hits you is just how flexible this latest Golf GTi engine is; itâ€™s as happy on the autoroute behind Nice as it is screaming up the snaking roads leading into the surrounding mountains.
â€œAt lower speeds the electro-mechanical steering can sometimes feel over-assisted; the apparent lightness is aimed at aiding manoeuvrability around town. Where it really shines is out on the open road, where it weights up progressively and proves impressively direct as you tip in to tightening corners.
“A good part of the precision within the steering can be traced to the adoption of an optional electronic differential for the first time, for Volkswagen has done an excellent job of quelling torque steer without resorting to a mechanical limited-slip diff.â€
The full report can be read HERE. Volkswagen UK press release, pricing and more images available after the jump.
THE ORIGINAL HOT HATCH RETURNS: SIXTH GENERATION GTI OPENS FOR ORDERING
The Golf GTI is back.Â Almost 36 years to the day since a small band of engineers started work on the first prototype GTI, the very latest evolution and sixth generation of the original hot hatch has been released for ordering at Volkswagen Retailers.
The elements identified by the engineers back in March 1973 that defined the original GTI remain; sharp dynamics, a responsive four-cylinder engine and driver involvement are at the core of the new GTI.Â Yet it has evolved â€“ the Mk VI Golf GTI is faster, sharper and more powerful than any standard GTI before it.Â However, the day-to-day usability of the GTI has not been forgotten and it is cleaner, safer and more efficient than ever before.
An advanced new 2.0-litre TSI engine, available linked to either a six-speed manual or DSG gearbox, is at the heart of the new GTI.Â Although sharing the same 1,984 cc displacement as the 2.0-litre T-FSI engine it replaces, the new TSI unit features substantial changes including modified pistons and piston rings, an improved oil pump, new induction system and a high-pressure fuel pump.
The result is an output of 210 PS delivered between 5,300 and 6,200 rpm (a 10 PS rise over the Mk V), which allows the vehicle to accelerate from standstill to 62 mph in 6.9 seconds, while emissions fall from 189 g/km to 170 g/km (DSG: 173 g/km) and economy rises from a combined 35.3 mpg to 38.7 mpg (DSG: 38.2 mpg).Â The torque â€“ 206 lbs ft between 1,700 and 5,200 rpm â€“ is also delivered slightly lower in the rev range allowing greater flexibility and keener throttle response. The maximum speed rises to 149 mph.
Despite the rise in power output, the new GTI is assured of greater traction in all conditions thanks to a standard new XDS electronically controlled differential.Â A series of sensors detects when, through hard cornering for instance, the inside wheel is not sufficiently loaded and applies braking pressure via the Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) in order to restore traction.Â The result is less wheelspin and greater control and precision on demanding roads.
Maintaining the sharp responses expected of the GTI are unique springs and dampers linked to a ride height lowered by 22 mm at the front and 15 mm at the rear.Â The strut-type front and multi-link rear suspension is joined by new anti-roll bars to provide sharper responses.Â In addition, Volkswagenâ€™s innovative Adaptive Chassis Control system (ACC), featuring pneumatically controlled damper units, is offered for the first time on the GTI.Â This allows the driver to select from normal, comfort or sport modes to define the desired suspension, steering and accelerator response settings for any particular journey.
The mechanical changes are joined by subtle cosmetic additions.Â The basis of the GTI is the chassis structure of the new Mk VI Golf, onto which is added an aggressive new front bumper.Â This features a deep honeycomb airdam framed by vertical foglights which sit below a new grille element adorned by the now iconic GTI badge.Â As with the Mk VI Golf, the GTI uses horizontal lines to make the new car appear lower and wider than it really is.Â In reality, the new GTI is 27 mm wider than the car it replaces.
At the rear, a diffuser is located between an all-new exhaust system with separated tailpipes to lower further the stance of the car.Â A subtle rear wing sits above a pair of smoked rear light lenses and a single â€˜GTIâ€™ badge.
Standard equipment highlights on the new GTI include red and black tartan sports seats with red stitching and headrests featuring the â€˜GTIâ€™ logo, a flat-bottomed GTI multifunction steering wheel, red brake callipers, 17-inch â€˜Monzaâ€™ alloy wheels and 2Zone electronic climate control.Â Also, as with the entire Golf range, the new GTI features class-leading levels of safety with ABS, ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) and seven airbags, including for the first time a knee airbag, all as standard.Â The Golf was recently awarded a maximum five-star rating by the EuroNCAP crash testing agency.
The new GTI can be ordered from today at Volkswagen Retailers with the first cars ready to drive away on the carâ€™s on sale date, 22nd May.Â Please visit www.volkswagen.co.uk for more details.
Golf GTI model line-up and â€˜On the roadâ€™ prices (inc VAT)
- 3dr 6-spd manual â€“ Â£22,410.00
- 5dr 6-spd manual â€“ Â£22,995.00
- 3dr 6-spd DSG â€“ Â£23,715.00
- 5dr 6-spd DSG â€“ Â£24,300.00