• What's In A Name: Volkswagen Golf GTI
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What's In A Name: Volkswagen Golf GTI

The GTI moniker has become synonymous with the Volkswagen brand. Three letters that stir memories of epic hot hatch battles from the 1970s and ’80s, but what exactly is in the GTI name and how did it all come about? Here’s a brief history of some of the most famous letters in motoring history.

G. T. I. First used back on the Volkswagen Golf in the ’70s the GTI badge marked out a Golf that was a cut above. Introduced in June of 1976 the Golf GTI featured a fuel-injected 1.6-litre petrol engine and was capable of a top speed of 110 mph. It’s now well over forty years since that moment and to this day the GTI badge still adorns the Volkswagen Golf.

The original GTI came about the result of a project devised by a six-man team and ultimately led by Volkswagen engineer, Anton Konrad. Before production started, the machine was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1975, however, it wouldn’t be until 1977 that the Golf GTI landed on British shores.

Small, but powerful engines are very much the recipe for a fun and capable hot hatch. Whilst the Golf GTI had this in the guise of its 1.6-Litre petrol engine, the Golf also had a further ace up its sleeve. A capable chassis by design, the fact that it only weighed 810kg meant that it had serious potential for performance.

As the generations of the Golf came and past, the GTI was an ever-present and gained more power as the years went by. By the time the third iteration came around, there was a supercharged model which was capable of delivering 160 bhp. A whole 60% increase in bottom line power to that of the original.

In 2003 Volkswagen delivered the Volkswagen Golf R32 which took the recipe of the Golf GTI and added even more power, this time in the guise of a 237bhp 3.2-litre VR6 engine.

The Golf GTI is one of the most iconic hot hatches in the history of the motorcar. What the Golf GTI represented was performance at an affordable and practical level for the man on the street. Cars that you could easily love due to their small yet powerful engines never ceased to put smiles upon the faces of those who drove them.

In an era where the automotive industry is seeing so much change, a change that sees a slow but gradual transition to electric cars, machines like the Golf GTI prove to be the right tonic for lovers and enthusiasts of the internal combustion engine.

At Big Motoring World, Kent, we are delighted to offer for sale a range of quality used Volkswagen cars which includes the much-acclaimed Golf GTI. To view our full range of used Volkswagens, please visit our website here.