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First look: Golf GTI back to its roots

Fuel for thought: The new Golf GTI’s Euro IV emissions-compliant engine is claimed to return average fuel consumption of just 8.0 litres per 100km.

Volkswagen reveals a turbocharged Golf GTI ahead of its Paris show debut

8 Sep 2004

VOLKSWAGEN has gone back to its hot hatch roots to produce a new generation, turbocharged Golf GTI that will debut at this month’s Paris motor show before going on sale Down Under by mid next year.

The German car giant made the GTI nameplate famous with its 1976 original, but it admits that later (less powerful) versions have diminished the hottest Golf’s appeal.

But a 2.0-litre turbo engine for the fifth generation Golf GTI will change all that.

Described as the rebirth of Volkswagen’s genuine hot hatch, the new Golf GTI will officially pack a direct-injection 2.0-litre FSI four-cylinder delivering 147kW and no less than 280Nm of torque between 1800 and 5000rpm.

Capable of sprinting to 100km/h in a respectable 7.2 seconds in standard six-speed manual specification, Golf GTI will also be available here with Volkswagen Audi Group’s innovative dual clutch gearbox (DSG), in which guise it launches to the same speed in just 6.9 seconds.

Despite the drastic increase in acceleration and (235km/h) top speed over its more sedate 110kW 1.8-litre turbo forebear, the new Golf GTI’s Euro IV emissions-compliant engine is also claimed to return average fuel consumption of just 8.0 litres per 100km.

Complementing the extra performance is 15mm lower sports suspension and a host of safety features including six airbags, ESP stability control and active front head restraints.

A sports bodykit will complement the increased engine performance, including a black radiator grille with red frame and diamond mesh, front and roof highlights, a rear spoiler, twin tailpipes and distinctive 17-inch alloy wheels with 225-section tyres.

Externally, GTI will feature red brake callipers, a distinctive bumper with three large air inlets, black widened sill panels, high-gloss B-pillar trim, blue heat-reflective windows and darkened headlight housings.

Inside, the new Golf GTI will feature exclusive sports seats with stitched GTI logos on each head restraint, black headlining, aluminium gearknob and pedal cluster, and a three-spoke steering wheel like the original’s, this time leather-wrapped and with aluminium trim.

Also exclusive to Golf GTI will be new instruments, climatic air-conditioning, multi-function display, illuminated front footwells, automatic anti-dazzle interior mirror, rain-sensing wipers, courtesy lights and a tyre monitor display.

Price is yet to be finalised but expect an increase from the $36,990 sticker on the current GTI, which comprises less than 10 per cent of Golf IV sales.

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