October 7, 2008 The sixth generation of the Golf GTI has been unveiled in concept form at the Paris Motor Show, providing a taste of things to come when the vehicle enters production in spring 2009. Volkswagen says the concept retains the key elements of the original Mk I GTI launched in '76 - sharp dynamics, style and practicality - while introducing advances in drivetrain and chassis technology such as an electronic limited slip differential (XDS) linked to a sophisticated ESP (Electronic Stabilization Programme) system, a first for the GTI.
Power is provided by a 2.0-litre four cylinder TSI engine developing 210 PS (a gain of 10 PS over the Mk V GTI) and reaching 62 mph in 7.2 seconds with a top speed of 148 mph, making it the fastest standard production GTI yet produced. The new engine is also more efficient, returning 37.6 mpg on the combined cycle while emitting 178 g/km of CO2 compared to 189 g/km for the outgoing model.
The strut-type front and multi-link rear suspension architecture are adopted from the conventional Golf with specially tuned springs, dampers, anti-roll bars the option of Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC) added. The ACC comprises adjustable pneumatic dampers with three settings ranging - ‘comfort’ to ‘normal’ and ‘sport’ - and it also remaps the steering and throttle response to adapt to the driving scenario.
From the outside, notable design highlights include the familiar red grille surround, 18-inch ‘telephone dial’ wheels similar to those found on the Mk V, horizontal grille fins and new headlights featuring individual lamp pods behind a translucent cover. At the rear a set of GTI smoked light lenses are joined by a rear diffuser channelling air from beneath the vehicle that’s in turn framed by a pair of chrome tailpipes.
Inside, the concept features a flat-bottomed steering wheel finished in black leather with contrasting red stitching and a contoured sports seats finished in grey tartan cloth reminiscent. Seven airbags, a CD stereo, climate control and ESP are also standard.