Volkswagen Golf GTI, the story of a living legend who turns 40


a Few acronyms that with the passage of time have become a legend and a benchmark car

Few cars have managed to write their own history in golden letters, and even less if we talk about models that we could call conventional. And is that the saying that “not all heroes wear layer”, in this case not all sports carry a horse on their emblem, is dramatized in the image of the Volkswagen Golf GTI. The first compact sporty, which after more than 40 years active as account, in its own right, with one of the most outstanding in the history books of motorsport.

And is that Golf, not just the GTI, took its first steps as an innovator. The custom, at that time, was to put the engine in the rear, in the style of Porsche. The truth is that it was not he who introduced this configuration, as that honor went to his brothers, the Scirocco and the Volkswagen Passat, but the first to introduce it in a segment that ultimately would be placed as most important in terms of sales across Europe.

So the Golf, in their versions are more conventional, they were a reflection of progress and technique. But Volkswagen wanted to reach the limit, show the true capabilities of this compact. And it is here where arises the figure of the GTI (Gran Turismo Injection). It was then when to the great design of Giorgio Giugiaro joined a top performance, that even to this day, remains the reference. A success.

there Were many doubts at the time of launch of a car so radical. So much so that he came even to be discussed in the German Parliament

We are talking about the year 1976, and although we believe that the concept of compact sport is a modern idea, since by then the GTI started to gain a collection of followers that has done nothing but grow with the passing of the years. And neither is talk of a lot of power, because the GTI MkI was mounted on a block of four cylinder petrol 1,588 cubic centimeters with a fuel-injection system K-Jetronic that was capable of developing a maximum of 110 horses. If we add to that a content weight of 810 kg, the success was assured.


The first Golf GTI democratized the sportsmanship, although it was also handy for all kinds of situations

The commercial life of the first generation is extended up to the year 1984, a time in which it was submitted, and throwing the GTI MkII. We do not know whether willingly or by sheer chance, Volkswagen guessed right full with the release, as it coincided with the so-called generation of the babyboom. Many cuarentañeros and cincuentañeros of today learned to drive behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Golf, a tie sentimental that has spread throughout the generations and the years.

In regards to the novelties that presented this second generation, there are that include a new chassis and a new engine. A block of 1.781 cubic inches that developed 112 HP. It should be point out that in this generation the arrival of the legendary Golf G60 Limited. A beast with an engine of four valves per cylinder, dual overhead camshafts and a compressor that came to develop, nothing more and nothing less than 210 HP. Its 71 units built make him one of Golf’s most quoted of all time.

But even though the second generation of the GTI became a tremendous success, the passage of time is inevitable, even for the legends. This is so that in 1991, the third family of the GTI came to become another figure famous. Once more Volkswagen increased performance and power. Came four engines, two four-cylinder and two six. It was the first generation to have a V6 under the hood, the always-remembered versions VR6 that came to stretch his power up to 190 HP with wheel drive system Syncro II.


The G60 Limited was the jewel in the crown of the second generation. A rara avis today

From among all the GTI out of the factory in these 40 years, there is one in particular that could change the history and that is part of that third generation, the Golf A59. It is, without a doubt, one of the models more radicals coming out of Wolfsburg. The idea was to create a Golf course capable of competing in Group A of the World Rally. A pity that the project is paralizase just before its release, as a lot of us would have liked to see a Golf with 275 HP and a capability of doing 0 to 100 in 4.2 seconds.

Of this sad time we went to the fourth version of the GTI, that came back in the year 1997. Aesthetics was one of the most acclaimed, but there was a slight problem with it. And is that many accused the GTI did not have an image so unique and characteristic as it did their predecessors. Despite this, this generation will be remembered for being the first to employ the system Haldex, as well as being the first to have the famed Golf R32.

After this there is a particular history, because, in principle, the directors of Volkswagen, thought to make him a model very exclusive, with just 5,000 units for sale. However the high demand forced them to increase that figure to 35,000 cars. And it is not surprising, since their V6 3.189 cc and 24 valves developed the not inconsiderable power of 241 HP, being able to do the 0 to 100 in 6,6 seconds. He has the honor of being the first to have the now famous change of double clutch DSG.


The fourth generation was crowned with the arrival of the R32. A V6 a maximum power of pure strain

Change of the century, and with this family. In 2004, comes to light the Volkswagen Golf GTI MkV. For the first time in the history of the Gran Turismo mounted a block of petrol with direct injection and turbo, as well as the first Twincharger (TSI) two years later. all Of a sudden the power shoots up to 200 HP. The DSG becomes an option usual. The same goes with the R32 that makes act of presence with a V6, although this time the power grows up to 250 HP. It would be the last R32 that we would see.

As is usual in every generation, Volkswagen presented us with a prototype wild. Nothing more and nothing less than a Golf with a W12 six-litre installed in its central part. In total, 650 horses were never to tread the asphalt of the real, but which no doubt left us with the mouth open. As an example, that this beast was capable of doing the 0 to 100 Km in 3.7 seconds, with a top speed of 321 Km/h.

Let us go forward, and citémonos in the Paris Salon of 2008, an event that served to make the GTI MkVI us show you how to prototype, coming months later, in 2009, the commercial version. Once more he laid a hand on the block TFSI two-litre, although in this case, the power grew 11 horses, coming in at 211. However the most spectacular change what we have in the figure of torque, so of the 280 Nm of the previous generation is passed on to a few more that poor 350 Nm.


it Would have been the father of all the Golf GTI, but this beast W12 was in the pipeline of projects

From the GTI turned 20 years, Volkswagen has launched special editions every five years

As we have said before, we would not go back to see a version R32, but in its place they are born the versions R. Due to the growing concern with efficiency and consumption, are replacing the V6 for a four-cylinder in-line 2.0 TFSI. However that’s not why the power is diminished, but on the contrary, as it grows up to 270 HP with a notable increase in performance, since for the first time a GTI production is able to get off six seconds in the 0 to 100 Km/h.

Time skip to the present, we jump to the generation GTI that occupies the day of today, the seventh. Saw it for the first time in 2013 and then discovered two different strengths thanks to an extra package of performance. With more advances, the consumption is still decreasing, although the benefits increase. So much so that we see how is born a new denomination, special for the 40 years. Editions Clubsport.

Such is the importance of this special birthday, these are the Golf factory most powerful ever produced. To overcome the psychological barrier of 300 horses, though limited to only 400 units. However, it is then when we learn that Wolfsburg are planning the most radical of all the Golf that has ever existed. Your name will be Golf R400 and the figure indicates the power that you have. We’ve already seen it circular, and its appearance will be really sensational.


¿we will come to see a Golf of production with 400 horses? I will say that if

apparently Seen the future of the Golf GTI is more alive than ever. we Still have many generations to know and enjoy, with its classic elements such as the covering boxes or your knob change with the ball of the sport that gives it its name. A living legend that continues to enlarging the acronym that accompanies it, as well as a segment in which little by little we see how to add each time more rivals. Long life to the king!