We welcome a brand new Volkswagen Golf GTI to the Management Fleet.[Not a valid template]
When we waved goodbye to the Management Fleet Volkswagen Golf, crankandpiston’s own Phill Tromans mentioned that few of our long termers had impressed him more. A statement and a half considering we’ve enjoyed time with a Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed and a McLaren MP4-12C.
The latest addition to our fleet though is one the whole team has been looking forward to: the brand new Golf GTI. Now into its seventh generation, the GTI is a legend to petrolheads the world over, having set the standard for hot hatches during its earliest iteration. Indeed, as well as driving it on its international launch in the south of France, we’ve also put a new Golf GTI up against one of its key regional rivals – the Mercedes-Benz A250 Sport – with notable success. Moreover, as of this month two of the crankandpiston team own GTIs thanks to their impressive combination of grunt, styling and chuckable handling.
So far, our new long termer is ticking the right boxes. Under the bonnet lies a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that chucks out 217bhp and 258lb ft of torque. The GTI is mated to the excellent six-speed DSG gearbox, and is capable of hitting 100kph from standstill in 6.5 seconds and a 244kph top speed. We’re also pretty keen on the looks, the sharpened body contours offset nicely by the striking Tornado Red paint finish.
Similar praise has also been bestowed on the interior. Part of me does yearn for the GTI’s traditional cloth seats but the Titanium Black leather trim is still pretty sharp. The four-door hatch also comes with an electric panoramic sunroof (though whether anyone will use that during the arse end of a mid-40 degree summer is debatable), cruise control, a media interface and the Light and Vision Package: you never know when rain sensors and an auto-dimming rearview mirror might come in handy. Of further interest is the parallel park assist: we’ll try to avoid kerbing one of the 18-inch Austin alloys when we put that into practice.
The temptation – as with most hot hatches – is to point our new long term Golf GTI towards a long stretch of twisting mountain road and not stop until the tyres have melted. There is though one thing that’s delaying this, namely the 290km currently on the clock. Since the four-cylinder engine hasn’t been properly run in yet, we’ll have to wait a while before giving the full beans.
Well played Volkswagen. Well played.
|Engine:||Inline 4-cyl / 1984cc / turbo|
|Power:||217bhp @ 4500-6300rpm|
|Torque:||258 lb ft @ 1500-4400rpm|
|Transmission:||Six-speed DSG, front wheel drive|
|Front suspension:||Anti-roll bars front and rear / McPherson struts with lower wishbones|
|Rear suspension:||Anti-roll bars front and rear / four-link suspension with separate spring-shock absorber arrangement|
|Brakes:||Disc brakes front and rear / ventilated 312mm x 25mm (front) / 300mm x 12mm (rear)|
|Wheels:||17-in front and rear|
|Tyres:||225/45 R17 front and rear|