The Mark VI GTI is upon us and sport-compact fans around the world are rejoicing. The GTI is a perennial favorite among German car enthusiasts due to its solid construction, excellent handling characteristics, and flat-out speed.
Based on the sixth-generation Golf and available from the 2010 model year onward, the new GTI is an evolutionary improvement of this hot-hatch.
Following in the tradition of past Golf models, this performance version of the car doesn't look radically different from the standard Golf. That being said, larger wheels and tires, a lowered suspension, and a few GTI-specific parts are part of the equation that sets the GTI apart from its little brother. The popular honeycomb grill returns with a more aggressive look and the now familiar red striping.
The latest GTI is powered by a new 2.0-liter TSI motor - a turbocharged four-cylinder good for 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque.
As with the Mark V models, power is delivered to the front wheels via either a six-speed DSG transmission or a six-speed manual gearbox. Those opting for the DSG transmission will enjoy both a set of paddle shifters and the manual shift gate on the tiptronic gear shifter.
For the first time VW is offering the GTI with an electronic differential called XDS. The GTI now also features an adaptive dampening feature found in the Scirocco which is called Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC). DCC will allow the driver to switch between normal, comfort, and sport ride styles and the hatch will automatically adjust the throttle and steering response to adjust to the ride style.
Expect the 2010 GTI to continue the tradition of quality interior styling with contrast stitching, quality plastics, metal foot metals, and a leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. A new touch screen GPS system will be made available and redesigned climate controls sourced from the Passat CC will be standard.
Just as the Mark V paid homage to the original GTI with its interlagos plaid seats the Mark VI will continue this heritage of quirky, yet cool seating surfaces.
Outside you'll find a redesigned set of fog lamps, headlights, and tail lights as well as a large roof spoiler and lower diffuser. As with previous years, the new GTI will be available in both two- and four-door versions.