. This is the seventh generation of the Golf and it just keeps getting better with each one. It’s stronger, bigger and more refined and this is just a start as to what make the new Golf GTI so amazing.
The entry level Golf GTI produces 210 hp and Volkswagen will do something it has never done before. It will also offer a performance package that bumps this up to 220 hp. Both will have 258 lb-ft of torque which peaks at only 1,400 rpm and remains there until 4,400 rpm for the entry level model and 4,600 rpm for the performance package model. This is what Volkswagen claims the car offers, but those who have tested it said it feels like a great deal more.
Another change to this car involves the 2.0-litre EA888 turbo-four. Not only is it lighter, it’s more efficient too thanks to a number of modifications Volkswagen made to the car. The new engine uses both port and direct injection. Port injection kicks in when RPMs are low while direct injection uses less fuel as the power increases. Experts believe that this may help with intake valve carbon buildup which is frequently seen with direct injection engines. The intake valves are controlled by two cams which make use of variable timing. The cam on the exhaust side comes with variable lift to help reduce turbo lag.
The exhaust runners now collect in the head before directly dumping into the turbo. Reducing the runner length allows for fast spool times and helps with fuel economy. To keep exhaust gas temperature down, runners are now surrounded by coolant. In the past, engines were forced to run richer than preferred to protect the catalytic converter and O2 sensor. Now they don’t have to and fuel economy increases.
Volkswagen opted to stay with the iron block, yet optimized the mass to reduce the weight. The majority of fasteners are now made using aluminum and a plastic oil pan is used. A new turbo unit is also being used to reduce the weight while improving efficiency. Although both power and torque have been increased, the expected ratings for this vehicle come in at 24 mpg in urban conditions and 34 mpg on the motorways for both versions of the Golf GTI.
This GTI is the first model to receive a limited-slip differential and Volkswagen chose to use an open differential. The differential has been paired with a hydraulically operated, computer-controlled wet-clutch coupling designed to lock the axles. Doing so lets the differential operate fully open when this will be of benefit and lock when needed. Stability control and differential control are linked while the old electronic differential system is used for brake vectoring in difficult conditions. Drivers continue to have two choices when it comes to the transmission. The DSG six-speed twin-clutch automatic may be chosen or the six-speed manual.
The Golf GTI makes use of the Mk7 which is approximately 100 pounds lighter than its predecessor. They accomplished this by using 16 percent more ultra high-strength, hot-formed steel in the new chassis and yet the car will be safer thanks to modifications made. Many components of the suspension remain the same though. A MacPherson strut is still used in the front, but the subframe and suspension arms are now made using the high-strength steel. The components are larger and stronger, but weigh four pounds less.
A hollow anti-roll bar is used and the roll center is now closer to the center of gravity. This improves body roll while spring rates remain the same. Suspension bushings have been modified and made stronger to keep the tire pointed in the correct direction.
The rear suspension weighs less while still using the multi-link design and functionality has been improved. Transverse rigidity has increased with the introduction of new bushings which also helps with improved rear tyre tracking. The reaction of the car during turn in is quickened. The rear suspension also has a hollow anti-roll bar and Volkswagen opted to change the location of both the shock-mounting points and the anti-roll bar drop-links. The car feels more connected from bumper to bumper. These are just a few examples of how Volkswagen has worked to make the Golf GTI their best Golf ever.
When you get behind the wheel of this car, you’ll love what the new technology has to offer without even realizing it’s doing it because it is so unobtrusive. It takes a few minutes to get the feel of the variable rate steering rack, but once you do, you’ll fall in love. This car offers a quiet ride, one that is smoother than in previous models. Drivers appreciate the major differences seen in the handling and ride when using the various modes offered through the Dynamic Chassis Control and the car tracks as a consistent unit. This is most noticeable when going from a corner to a straight track.
Front and back now work together and the limited slip differential is a dream come true. The Performance Package only improves on this. What makes this car amazing though and a definite winner when compared to the Ford Focus is the refinement. This doesn’t even take into account the incredible seats, steering wheel and golf ball shift knob. With so much to love about this car, reading a review will never be enough. You have to go test drive the car for yourself just to see how incredible it is.