After making its first public debut in concept form at the Paris Motor Show, Volkswagen has officially unveiled the production version of its new generation Golf GTI MkVI flagship.
Building upon the dynamics and driver involvement which defined the spirit of its predecessors, the new model is faster, sharper and more powerful than any standard GTI before it.
At its core is an advanced new 2.0-litre TSI engine producing 154kW and peak torque of 279Nm from just 1700 r/min, linked to either a six-speed manual or DSG gearbox.
This allows the new Golf GTI to sprint from zero to 100km/h in just 6.9 seconds while returning impressive fuel economy of just 6.1 litres per 100km and emissions of only 170 g/km of CO2.
Despite its slightly higher output compared to its predecessor, the new GTI is assured maximum traction with the addition of a new XDS electronically controlled differential as standard.
This is coupled with new springs and dampers unique to the GTI which also lowers the ride height by 22mm at the front and 15mm at the rear, as well as strut-type front and multi-link rear suspension joined by new anti-roll bars to provide sharper responses.
Volkswagen’s Adaptive Chassis Control system (ACC) is also offered for the first time on the GTI, incorporating pneumatically controlled damper units which allow the driver to choose from normal, comfort or sport modes.
As with previous generations, the flagship GTI variant boasts an aggressive new look, with a new front bumper which integrates a deep honeycomb airdam flanked by vertical foglights, a rear diffuser and an all-new exhaust system with dual outlets.
A subtle rear wing, smoked rear lenses and red brake calipers surrounded by 17-inch ‘Monza’ alloy wheels tie the look of the exterior together.
The interior features leather sports seats with red stitching, along with a flat-bottomed GTI multifunction steering wheel and 2Zone electronic climate control.
The new GTI boasts class-leading levels of safety and achieved a 6 star Euro NCAP rating. Standard safety equipment includes ABS, ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme), seven airbags and for the first time, a knee airbag.
Despite the R32 no longer forming part of the new generation Golf line-up, the new GTI may not be able to claim the flagship title for much longer with an even more potent GTI-R model rumoured to be in development.