2014 VOLKSWAGEN GTI: CONTINUING THE ORIGINAL HOT HATCH TRADITION
Retro-inspired touches add to the appeal of this sporty hatch that's a blast to drive
•An exceptional value wîth a starting MSRP of just $25,095
•Two final-year special trims; Wolfsburg Edition and Driver's Edition
•Ranked most appealing Compact Sports Car for the §egmènt by JD Power and AssociatesHerndon, VA,
- Nearly 30 years after it first appeared in America, the Volkswagen GTI continues to set the standard in 'hot hatch' driving excitement. The award-winning formula is thrilling enthusiasts today as it was in the early 1980s; an exciting, dynamic driving experience coupled wîth multi-purpose hatchback versatility at an affordable price.
It's no doubt the reason why Car and Driver included the GTI as one of its 2013 '10 Best' saying it 'upends the underachiever's excuse that you can't please all of the people all of the time.'
It's hard to imagine then that the original Golf GTI was planned as a limited series of just 5000 cars. Fast forward 35 years and five generations of GTI later, about two million have been sold worldwide.
Culminating the final year of production for this sixth-generation GTI, the 2014 model is offered in two trims, the well-equipped Wolfsburg Edition and fully loaded Driver's Edition. The cars are offered only in four-door form, powered by an advanced 2.0-liter 16-valve turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® four-cylinder engine.
| ||Vital Stats|
|Engine : 2.0 L., 4-cylinder|
Power: 200 hp
Torque: 207 ft-lbs
6-speed Manual, 6-speed Automatic
For three decades, the GTI has defined the mold for the classic shape of the sporting hatchback. Clean, minimalist lines mixed wîth sharp, intricate detailing produce a style that always remains sleek and contemporary. See an early GTI on the street today and it still looks fresh and modern.
And the design formula continues wîth the 2014 GTI—a long wheelbase wîth short overhangs and a wide track to give that 'planted', road-hugging look. With this sixth-generation GTI, the aggressive front-end features a striking black honeycomb grille wîth a simple GTI badge on the passenger side to reinforce the model's identity. Distinctive red stripes outline the grille which flows into the dramatic, angled teardrop headlight housings.
The GTI Driver's Edition features Bi-Xenon headlights wîth bright-white LED daytime running lights and the Adaptive Front-lighting System. Defining the GTI's front-end design is a large, full-width honeycomb fascia wîth twin air intakes below the bumper, flanked by twin, vertical halogen foglights.
The car's streamlined profile continues toward the rear, wîth a subtle pair of black side skirts running partially along the GTI's lower edge. To heighten the GTI's hunkered-down stance, both 2014 trims feature flared wheelarches covering distinctive, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels shod wîth low-profile, all-season performance tires.
At the rear, horizontal taillights are integrated into the quarter panels and hatch. In addition, smoked red brake lenses are underlined by clear reverse and turn signal lenses. Blended into the bumper is a blacked-out diffuser wîth cut-outs for the chrome-tipped, split dual-exhaust. At the top of the rear hatch is a body-color spoiler which houses the third brake light. Interior
It takes just a few seconds sitting behind the GTI's three-spoke, leather-wrapped, flat-bottom §teering wheel to sense the exceptional quality and remarkable craftsmanship that goes into its cabin. High-quality, soft-touch plastics are integrated wîth tasteful aluminum and chrome highlights. Panel gaps are tightly controlled.
As you'd expect from a sporting hatchback, the GTI's front seats are heavily bolstered to help keep driver and front passenger supported during enthusiastic cornering as well as heatable for cold weather driving. And they come standard wîth eight-way manual adjustment as well as power recline for both the driver and passenger sides, adjustable lumbar support, and height-adjustable head restraints. Characteristic GTI cues run throughout the cabin: the Wolfsburg Edition receives the famous plaid cloth upholstery panels in the seats. Bold red stitching that's also featured on the headrests, center armrest, shift lever boot, and leather-wrapped §teering wheel is a GTI cue, too. The Driver's Edition takes it a step further wîth Titan black leather seating surfaces front and rear.
A performance car demands performance instrumentation and the GTI delivers, wîth its oversized tachometer and matching speedometer that has an integrated engine temperature and fuel gauge. Positioned between the black analog gauges is a multi-function onboard computer display that provides the driver wîth key information regarding fuel mileage, odometer, outside temperature and more.
Another sporting element is the GTI's race-inspired, brushed metal-finish pedals that include rubber inserts for extra grip. And on the left side of the footwall, there's an over-sized footrest for added support and comfort.
Practicality and versatility are also key attributes of the latest GTI. Its high-lifting tailgate provides easy ingress and egress to a load area that offers up to15 cubic feet of space. And wîth the folding rear seat back split 60/40—and featuring a pass-through—there's real flexibility for load carrying. Engine and Transmissions
Únder-hood, the 2014 GTI features the award-winning double-overhead-cam, 16-valve, 2.0-liter turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder gasoline engine, wîth direct fuel injection.
Producing 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque, the 2.0T offers up athletic performance. With all 207 lb-ft of torque delivered in a flat line from just 1700 rpm to 5000 rpm, the turbo engine is extremely flexible and responsive, making for rapid passing and fast, back-road progress. It's remarkably efficient too. The 2.0 TSI engine and six-speed manual transmission deliver an EPA estimated 31 mpg highway and 21 mpg in city driving.
For drivers who want the performance of a traditional manual transmission wîth the precision of an automatic, the GTI is available wîth an optional DSG® six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission on both models. The transmission's advanced dual-clutch system features one clutch that controls the 'odd' gears plus reverse, while the other operates the 'even' gears. So, if the GTI is being driven in third gear, fourth is already selected but not yet activated. As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, the other clutch closes and fourth gear engages—all in the space of four-hundredths of a second.
The result is crisp, rapid-fire shifts without the loss of power that is typical wîth a traditional manual gearbox. This shaves a couple of tenths off the manual transmission car's 0 to 60 mph acceleration time and helps improves fuel economy: EPA estimates show 32 mpg on the highway and 24 in the city.
Buyers who opt for the DSG transmission can switch between fully automatic and automated manual operation, which enables the driver to control every gearshift. The DSG transmission lets the driver shift up and down using either the finger-operated paddles mounted on the GTI's §teering wheel, or by tapping the gearshift selector up or down when pushed to the right in manual mode.
As an added performance bonus wîth DSG, a Launch Control program can be engaged which, when the car is stopped, allows the engine to build revs before the first clutch is engaged, creating perfect acceleration wîth controlled wheelspin. Suspension
To deliver the kind of responsive, precise handling enthusiasts expect from a GTI, fully-independent, European-tuned suspension is employed at all four corners. At the front, damper struts wîth lower control arms and a stiff, tubular anti-roll bar help keep the front tires planted during hard cornering, reducing body roll and heightening §teering feedback.
Keeping the car settled at the rear without sacrificing passenger comfort, a compact multilink independent layout features coil springs, telescopic dampers, and an anti-roll bar. The four-link layout features three lateral control arms—the spring mounting, the track rod and upper control arm, and a trailing link at each wheel. Suspension assemblies are attached by way of a rear-axle subframe and, as at the front, rubber and metal mountings that are soft in torsion but stiff radially are used to help ensure the anti-roll bar responds immediately and suppresses body roll effectively.
On each side of the car at the rear, the spring and damper units are located separately, wîth the coil spring bearing directly on the trailing link and the damper attached to the wheel hub assembly. This enables the suspension geometry on the compression stroke to generate a toe §teering effect that maintains neutral behavior, or some slight understeer, in all driving and load-carrying situations. It also helps ensure excellent driving stability on rough, uneven road surfaces.
To help ensure that power is applied properly in challenging conditions, the GTI features the XDS® cross differential (limited slip) system that electronically monitors input from various wheel sensors and, in the event of slippage, transfers extra torque to the front wheel wîth the most traction. Steering and Brakes
The GTI's highly-praised electro-mechanical power §teering system is able to vary the level of §teering assist to suit the speed and driving situation. It is firm and direct when driving at highway speeds, requiring less effort at parking speeds. Other advantages of the system include its mild self-centering action, and its ability to help compensate for driving hazards like crosswinds and steep road cambers.
Bringing the GTI to a halt are 12.3-inch-diameter vented front discs and 10.7-inch-diameter solid rear disc brakes. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) are standard, along wîth electronic brake pressure distribution (EBS) and hydraulic brake assist (HBA). Safety and Security
The 2014 GTI comes wîth an array of safety features, both active and passive. For driving security, enhancements include Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), and Engine Braking Assist (EBA).
To help protect those inside, there are driver and passenger front and side thorax airbags together wîth Side Curtain Protection® head airbags in front and rear. The GTI also includes Volkswagen's advanced Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and even switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in certain types of collision. Scheduled Maintenance
Like all 2014 Volkswagen models, the GTI is covered under the no-charge Carefree Maintenance® Program. Scheduled maintenance is covered for two years or 24,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Model Line-up
The hallmark of every GTI model is its exceptional level of standard equipment and attractive pricing. GTI Wolfsburg Edition
Even the entry $25,095 GTI Wolfsburg Edition comes equipped wîth a leather-wrapped multifunction §teering wheel; air conditioning; cruise control; a cooled, lockable glovebox and 60/40-split folding rear seat wîth pass through; and Bluetooth® technology. The eight-speaker sound system has a single CD changer, AM/FM/SiriusXM® Satellite Radio, and an auxiliary input jack along wîth an iPod® Media Device Interface (MDI) adapter. The trim features Jacky Plaid cloth seats wîth red accent stitching. GTI Driver's Edition
With a starting MSRP of $29,695, the GTI Driver's Edition model includes the Wolfsburg Edition features plus: Titan black leather seating surfaces front and rear; a power sunroof; and the RNS315 navigation system wîth a five-inch high-resolution display. The exterior is upgraded wîth Bi-Xenon headlights wîth LED Daytime Running Lights. COMPETITIVE SET
Ford Focus ST
Honda Civic Si
MINI Cooper S
Subaru WRX About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA's operations in the Únited States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Eos, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, and Touareg vehicles through approximately 600 independent Ú.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at www.vw.com or media.vw.com to learn more.Source - Volkswagen
1975 – 2008: THE HISTORY OF THE GOLF GTI
The Volkswagen Golf GTI was unveiled in 1975 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The ÚK market had to wait a further two years for vehicles to arrive – 1977 saw 34 examples, all of them left hand drive, sold in the GTI's first tentative year.
The GTI was powered by a 1,588 cc four cylinder engine wîth K-Jetronic fuel injection it developed 110 PS at 6,100 rpm and 103 lbs ft of torque at 5,000 rpm. This allowed the GTI, which weighed 810 kg unladen, to hit 60 mph from standstill in nine-seconds before reaching a top speed of 110 mph.
The now familiar mix of a high-revving, responsive four-cylinder engine installed in a hatchback body wîth the emphasis on driving fun was linked to a pared down interior came as a revelation at the time. Especially when combined wîth tartan trim and the now iconic golf ball gearshift.
The car was an instant hit. By the time right-hand drive cars arrived in the ÚK in 1979 a total of 1,573 cars were sold in that year, a number that would triple within two years.
In 1984 the Mk II GTI was launched and picked up where the Mk I left off. A new chassis structure, a 1,781 cc engine developing 112 PS and 114 lbs ft of torque and new styling evolved the GTI and saw it appeal to a new generation of fans. Sales of the Mk II GTI surpassed those of the Mk I, peaking at 17,193 vehicles in 1989. In Germany a supercharged G60 version developing 160 PS was sold, an output that wouldn't be bettered in a GTI until 2002.
Three years later the Mk III GTI was launched, bringing wîth it a new 2.0-litre eight-valve engine and improved aerodynamics over the previous Mk I and Mk II models. In 1993 the GTI fitted was wîth a 2.0-litre 16-valve engine, raising the power output from 115 PS in the eight-valve model up to a more substantial 150 PS and 133 lbs ft of torque to drop the 0-60 mph time to 8.3 seconds and raise the top speed to 133 mph.
The introduction of the Mk IV GTI in 1998 saw significant changes to the line-up wîth the first diesel-engined GTI introduced along wîth two petrol engines in a total of four different states of tune. The Mk IV GTI made significant gains in refinement and safety – in 2002 the fastest accelerating and most powerful GTI produced up until that point was released in the form of the 180 PS GTI 25th Anniversary Edition. It was the success of this more powerful vehicle that inspired the introduction of the Mk V GTI.
Launched in September 2004 at the Paris Motor Show the Mk V GTI equipped wîth a 200 PS engine was not only the most powerful but also the most focused GTI yet produced. A new 2.0-litre T-FSI engine linked to a six-speed gearbox and standard Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) were linked to a new chassis equipped wîth MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link configuration at the rear. The vehicle was 15 mm lower than the standard Golf on new springs, dampers and anti-roll bars.
Visual cues were taken from the original GTI wîth the return of the tartan interior and the red surround to the grille element – even the GTI typeface used on the badge echoed that of the original.
The Mk V GTI served as a basis for two special editions – the Pirelli and Edition 30. Both models were powered by an evolution of the 2.0-litre T-FSI engine fitted to the conventional GTI, albeit both producing 230 PS.
The wildest GTI ever created – the GTI W12-650 – was also based on the Mk V. Powered by a mid-mounted 6.0-litre W12 engine producing 650 PS the vehicle could accelerate to 62 mph in 3.7-seconds and could theoretically achieve a maximum speed of 201 mph.
Production of the Mk V Golf ceased in August 2008 wîth a total of 17,630 examples sold in the ÚK alone. In total over 1,700,000 examples of the GTI have been sold worldwide since the vehicle went on sale in 1976.Source - Volkswagen
A compact car manufacturer in Germany, the Rabbit originally debuted in Europe in 1974 as the Volkswagen Golf and it adopted the Rabbit moniker once it made its first appearance in Canada and the U.S. in 1975. The named was switched back to the original Golf name in 1985 and it remained that way for 21 years.
In 1975, Volkswagen introduced the Rabbit as an attempt to correct flagging sales for their company. At the time, Japanese auto makers were competing with the VW Beetle by introducing little ‘econoboxes' at a much cheaper price and were overwhelming the U.S. market. Cute, compact and a front wheel drive vehicle, the Rabbit was priced nearly the same as a Japanese econobox, but with a water-cooled 4 cylinder engine with a transversely mounted engine that drove the front wheels.
Replacing the Beetle in the U.S. market, it wasn't until about 4 years after it was introduced when the Rabbit finally became popular, most of this due to the oil crisis. Fuel economy was excellent on the tiny little car, 45 in the city, and up to 57 mpg on the highway, this could be combined with the optional 1.514 cylinder Diesel. Enthusiasts clamored for this new Volkswagen. In 1979 production for the U.S. market was relocation to New Stanton, Pennsylvania and the first Rabbit rolled off the assembly line on April 10th, 1978. NBC news was on hand to document the first foreign vehicle to be built in the U.S.A. Production of the VW went from April of 1978 until July 1988 at the New Stanton plant before they closed. A total of 1,192,411 vehicles were produced at this plant.
For the late 1979 model year the Rabbit received a make-over as the production was moved. The largest and most noticeable change to the American Rabbit, were the addition of all new square headlights. 1979 was also the year that the Rabbit Convertible was introduced and featured the body of the Rabbit, but featured a soft vinyl top. The convertible featured the round headlights that were found on older-model rabbit's.
The Rabbit received yet another make-over in 1981 and featured the new square headlight from the previous year, with wrap around turn signals that replaced the ones that had been used previously in the bumper. Inside, the Rabbit received a much more modern ‘Americanized' interior that was color keyed completely in the inside. For the 1981 model year, the engine was upgraded to a larger size and the gas engine leaped from 1.6 to 1.71 and the diesel also shot from a 1.5 to a 1.6.
During its production run, the VW Rabbit didn't receive many changes, though it did undergo many improvements. The Rabbit pickup was debuted in 1979 late in the year for the 1980 model year. The pickup was lengthened by 3 feet and had great hauling capacity and was offered with either a diesel or gas engine, though most were sold as diesels.
The GTi was introduced in 1982 and a much more sporty rendition of the VW Rabbit. The engine was a 1.81 and it featured a much stiffer suspension, front air dam, alloy wheels and unique Recaro sports seats. All of the grand features that drivers wanted were improved, the top speed, the handling and the acceleration on the GTi.
In 1982 a special 'black tie' edition Rabbit was introduced and featured black bumpers and mouldings that gave it an elegant look. On the inside, special seats were utilized and a rear wiper was also added. A Wolfsburg Edition Rabbit was debuted for 1984. A lush Rabbit model, the Wolfsburg came with a very unique interior, along with an extra moulding on the bottom of the door, and A/C.
The Volkswagen Golf was introduced in July of 1984 and the Rabbit stepped aside a bit. After being redesigned and renamed, the Rabbit convertible became the Cabriolet, and more recently to the Cabrio. Though it was not a long-lasting vehicle, the Rabbit was a popular vehicle that made a big impact on the history of Volkswagen. Today, the Rabbit is still a popular vehicle that is still in high demand all over the U.S. Though U.S. production has stopped, the MK1's continue to be produced by Volkswagen of South Africa dubbed as the CitiGolf model.
Volkswagen of America announced the return of the Rabbit on April 12, 2006 at the Detroit Auto Show. This was due partly to the decline of sales for the VW Golf in the North American market and VW of America choosing to re-brand the Golf name. This newly introduced model is the same as the Golf V that is sold worldwide.
For the 2007 model year, the Mk V Rabbit replaced the VW Golf and the engine was upgraded to a standard 2.5-L 150-hp I-5 for both the 2-door and 4-door models. The '06 Rabbit was available in two trims, a 2-door and a 4-door hatchback. The 2-door came wit a 150-hp 2.5L DOHC engine, speed sensitive wipers, 10-speaker AM/FM CD stereo system, 6 way manually adjustable driver's seat and turn signal indicator in side mirrors. The 4-door rabbit came with a 150-hp 2.5L DOHC engine, heatable front seats, adjustable lumbar support for both driver and front passenger, light tinted windows, and 60/40 folding rear seat.
By March 2009 the Volkswagen again chose to drop the 'Rabbit' nomenclature and chose once again to rename it the 'Golf'. Volkswagen debuted the all new Golf/Rabbit online on August 2008, thought the official unveiling of the 6th generation occurred at the 2008 Paris Motor Show in October 2008. The newest Golf/Rabbit will be wider than before and will feature body styling similar to the VW Scirocco as well as tail-lamps that remind one of the Touareg. Under the hood was a range of 2-diesel (1.9-liter and 2.0-liter TDI) and 3 Petrol (1.4-liter TSI, 1.8-liter and 2.0-liter TFSI) burning engines. The '09 Rabbit features a 5-cylinder engine with Tiptronic 6 speed automatic transmission which can be adjusted to sport mode which allows for longer RPM runs before gear shifting. To keep the engine in the power band, the sport mode also aggressively down shifts. A manual mode is available as an alternative that allowed the driver to shift gears up and down, much like a F1 car.
On October 15, 2008 the first U.K. example of the all new Golf was auction off for charity by the London Press Club Ball. All of the proceeds went to the 'Journalists' Charity', a UK charity for journalists in need.
At this time there are no hybrid variants of the VW rabbit, but there is also an opportunity that Volkswagen's 2.0 liter clean diesel engine will be available from 2008 on. Outside of North America the VW Rabbit is known as the Golf and over 5 generations and more than 24 million vehicles have been produced.By Jessica Donaldson