Volkswagen has released the first pictures of the production-ready version of its Golf GTI, ahead of its public debut at the Paris Motor Show on 23 September. Its striking appearance has remained true to the concept GTI, which was shown at the Frankfurt Show last year, with an overtly sporty look reminiscent of the legendary 1976 Mk I version.
The GTI is now more clearly distinct from other models in the Golf range than ever before. A prominent black honeycomb grille with red frame; serif-style ‘GTI’ badging; bold 17" alloy wheels (18" versions of the same design will be an option); red brake callipers; deep air dam; twin exhaust pipes; and rear roof spoiler are visual highlights. The GTI look continues with black widened sill panels; high-gloss covered B-pillar; blue heat-reflective windows and tinted headlight housings. As previously, the GTI will be available as either a three- or a five-door hatchback.
Inside, the GTI theme is reinforced. The seats are designed especially for this model, with extra side bolstering and a sporty appearance, topped off by the GTI logo embroidered into the head restraints. A three-spoke leather sports steering wheel with aluminium trim states the car’s capabilities to the driver, and are complemented by the aluminium gearstick, trim inserts and pedals.
Powering the new Golf GTI is a sophisticated turbocharged 2.0-litre FSI direct injection petrol engine with 200 PS. The car delivers a 0 to 62 mph time of 7.2 seconds, before going on to a top speed of 146 mph (where permitted). Maximum torque of 207 lbs ft is produced on a ‘flat curve’ from 1,800 and 5,000 rpm, promising flexible and accessible performance. Volkswagen’s innovative DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) will be available from launch as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual transmission.
A special microsite has been created to enable potential GTI customers to order their vehicle early, such has been the interest in the new car. The site, at www.newgolfgti.co.uk , went live on 16 August, and contains information such as specification levels, indicative pricing (from £19,995 RRP on the road) and options. Customers can configure their own vehicle, which is then given a Unique Reference Number (URN). This can then be printed off and taken to their nearest Volkswagen retailer where the order is processed fully.
The new GTI is due to go on sale in Germany this autumn, with UK sales beginning in January next year.
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