40 years of the Golf GTI at Jarama

Volkswagen celebrates 40 anniversary of its legendary Golf GTI with a mass rally next 5 November at the Circuito del Jarama. And are 7 generations to date, and those remaining…

volkswagen-golf-gti-clubsport-sSince its appearance in 1976, the Golf GTI has become an icon of car that has managed to reinvent itself again and again in each of their 7 generations.

The German brand has organized a massive party at the Circuito del Jarama, the “GTI Day”(www.gtiday.es), to commemorate this anniversary and to make a review of the history of this iconic model, decade after decade, He has evolved from the hand of technology to reach iconic status.

40 years of continuous evolution that have placed the prominent head of sales in Europe. Totally unattainable for rivals. Why something you will not believe?

volkswagen-golf-gti-mk1In 1976, after many hours of work in absolute secrecy, He saw the light the first Golf GTI, MK I. Although outwardly only a few details allowed distinguish the original Golf, soon it became clear that it was a completely new and unique car. Under its exterior a true racing machine hid 100 CV. His arguments were clear and forceful: agile engine, direct address, specific chassis, light weight, evocative design, gearbox with characteristic knob-shaped golf ball, red stripes in the radiator grille and sports seats.

volkswagen-golf-gti-mk3In 1984, with only eight years of life, the GTI had gone from being a newcomer to become an icon in the world of cars. That same year, Volkswagen welcomed him to the Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk II, with a more stylized rear, sports tires, and engine 1.8 liters 8 mechanical injection valves yielding 112 CV. The model featured the now famous GTI badge on the grill, Outlined in its characteristic red color and the also emblematic red lines along her thin black bumpers.

Seven years later, in 1991, He came the third generation of the Volkswagen Golf GTI, the Mk III. More powerful than the previous, He lived its peak with the release of the commemorative version of the 20 years 1996, with which the GTI celebrated two decades of success.

volkswagen-golf-gti-mk5In 1998 the fourth generation of the GTI was launched, which had a more conservative image but with superior performance. It ceased to be a groundbreaking model to calm her appearance. However, this new GTI hiding inside an engine 1.8 turbo 4 cylinders down to the 150 CV. This generation culminated in 2001 with the edition "25th Anniversary" that equipped the engine 1.8 turbo 180 CV and marked the rebirth of this sporting icon.

The fifth generation soon arrived, and his debut 2004, Volkswagen wanted to improve the aesthetic aspects of the previous version. He succeeded thanks to more attractive and crisp lines and details reminiscent of the first generation. Thanks to the powerful engine turbo TFSI 200 CV and automatic dual-clutch DSG incorporating for the first time, Mk V was the whole "selling" that catapulted the GTI concept to new heights of success. Coinciding with the 30 years of the Golf GTI, Volkswagen launched the special model Edition 30 ', of 230 CV.

volkswagen-golf-gti-mk7Upon arrival to the market, the sixth generation Golf GTI continued to increase its performance and a top speed 240 km/h. The Mk VI released an electronic limited-slip differential (SNA) that marked a revolution in terms of stability and allowing maximum grip. This version dazzled with the sound of its engine 210 HP achieved thanks to a new exhaust system that significantly improved the sound. With this sixth generation, Volkswagen introduced two important new: a cabrio model and the "Golf GTI Edition 35", a motor that 235 CV became 2011 the most powerful GTI to date.

volkswagen-golf-gti-vision-gran-turismoIn 2012 he presented the seventh, and last time generation GTI, which shares the same engine 2.0 TSI of the previous model, but it offered in two different versions: the base model of 220 CV and model "Golf GTI Performance" 230 CV.

The latter, equipped with an electronic limited-slip differential on the front axle and brakes with larger diameter for the most demanding drivers.

Earlier 2016, German brand introduced the Golf GTI Clubsport 290 CV. And a few months later, It came the Clubsport S of 310 CV, the most powerful and fastest Golf GTI history, whose presentation at the Wörthersee Festival served to commemorate the 40 This sporty compact anniversary.

volkswagen-golf-rUltimately, GTI talk is talk of success, sportiness and modernity. After 40 years old, The numbers speak for themselves: the initial objective of 5.000 units per year was quickly overcome, and today, four decades and seven generations later, the number of GTI produced over two million.
But beyond the numbers, Golf GTI represents for thousands of drivers democratization of sportsmanship, the chance to experience driving sensations that seemed reserved for a lucky few.

And is that, as it demonstrated by the Golf GTI, There are times when three letters are enough to write history.

Adrián Osés, Locos Engine.


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Adrián Osés
Author: Adrián Osés Motorsport enthusiast and Engineering, founder and editor of Mad Engine.