Volkswagen is marking a particularly ‘sporty’ anniversary this year: from 6 till 10 April 2016 at the Techno Classica in Essen, a 40th birthday is being celebrated by a Volkswagen which has achieved true classic status over the course of four decades and still captures the hearts of its fans to this day: the Golf GTI.
In 2016 Volkswagen Classic’s appearance at the show will focus on the GTI. There were initially plans to build just 5,000 models of the ‘sports Golf’, but it soon became a huge success – almost two million Golf GTIs have been built since 1976. To celebrate this success, Volkswagen Classic will be exhibiting a thoroughly attractive ensemble at the Techno Classica from four decades of GTI history. Seven exclusive Golf GTI models will await visitors in hall 7.0.
The exhibits span the timeline from the first model ever to set pulse rates racing to the seventh generation and will include the original GTI from 1976, a trainee restoration project involving a 1983 GTI, the 1986 Group A world champion Golf Mk II GTI, the ‘Edition 20’ special model from 1997, the Golf Mk V GTI ‘Need for Speed’ from 2008, the 503-horsepower GTI Roadster concept car from 2014 and the brand-new Golf GTI Clubsport with up to 290 horsepower and motor sport engineering for the road.
Built 1976, 1.6-litre, four-cylinder, petrol, 81 kW (110 horsepower)
This early GTI comes from the Netherlands. It was the very first Golf Mk I GTI to be registered there and originally served as a demonstration car for the Volkswagen importer Pon’s Automobielhandel. The car is now owned by the Porsche Centrum Gelderland. Its director Mark Wegh had the original GTI carefully restored over a period of two years – naturally using only Volkswagen Original parts.
Built 1983, 1.8-litre, four-cylinder, petrol, 82 kW (112 horsepower)
This GTI was built just before its successor was unveiled in 1983. Its body has since been stripped down and rebuilt especially for the Techno Classica. The project was overseen by the Volkswagen Automobile Collection Osnabrück. The main players were GTI enthusiasts Henrik Pöttger (21) and Leon Streib (19), both trainee automotive mechatronics engineers at Volkswagen. They will also be on hand at the show to present their ‘baby’ to visitors.
Built 1986, 1.8-litre, four-cylinder, petrol, 130 kW (176 horsepower)
This Golf GTI weighs just 880 kg and was built by Volkswagen Motorsport to compete in Group A of the 1986 World Rally Championship. The rules at the time allowed technical modifications to be made to the standard parts in order to improve performance and reduce the car’s weight. The team made up of Kenneth Eriksson and Peter Diekmann secured the world title in Group A with this vehicle.
Built 1997, 1.9-litre, four-cylinder, diesel, 85 kW (115 horsepower)
On the 20th anniversary of the GTI, Volkswagen surprised the GTI fan base with a special edition – and with a particularly sporty direct-injection diesel. This four-cylinder TDI was the most powerful of its kind at the time and delivered 110 horsepower in the GTI – exactly the same as the original Golf GTI. The special edition remained in the line-up until 1997 and was reminiscent of the original GTI with its numerous equipment details.
Built 2008, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, petrol, 147 kW (200 horsepower)
The Golf ‘Need for Speed’ was built in 2008 for the gamers among the GTI enthusiasts in collaboration with the computer and video game developer Electronic Arts. The vehicle’s interior features three integrated games consoles on which racing fans can really step on the gas.
Built 2014, 3.0-litre, six-cylinder, petrol, 370 kW (503 horsepower)
The GTI Roadster concept car is a real eye-catcher. The spectacular show car initially only existed in the virtual world – as the result of a cooperation project between Volkswagen and Sony Computer Entertainment. The racer from the PlayStation®3 game Gran Turismo 6 became reality for the GTI meeting by Wörthersee in 2014. It is powered by a biturbo V6 engine, which catapults the roadster from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds. Top speed: 309 km/h!
Built 2016, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, petrol, 195 kW (265 horsepower)
The Clubsport is the most powerful series-production GTI to date and was developed to mark the 40th anniversary of the GTI. The boost function even allows the 2.0-litre TSI engine to produce 213 kW (290 horsepower) for ten seconds. Thanks to a newly designed front bumper, rear spoiler, diffuser and side skirts, the Clubsport delivers downforce values at motor sport level and is fit for the racetrack.