I’ll level with you, Volkswagen are a STRANGE car company. They never even wanted the GTI, as it went against the “people’s car” motto that Volkswagen had stood strong to throughout the years. However, in 1976 the GTI was born and it CHANGED THE FRIGGIN WORLD. A lot of people don’t know what GTI stands for and when you tell them, they still don’t really know what it means. It stands for “Grand Tourer Injection”, which essentially means that the car has a direct fuel-injection system. With Direct Injection, the fuel injectors are in the cylinder head and spray fuel directly into the combustion chamber. The opposite to this, and what most cars at the time had was Port injection. This sprays fuel into the intake where it mixes with the incoming air. Direct injection results in better fuel efficiency, better fuel economy, more power, and cleaner emissions. GTI’s are highly customizable cars and it is a lot of fun to look at different trims and engines etc. If you are interested you should go to the VW website and build your own. Here is a play-by-play for the Volkswagen GTI:
In 1976 the Volkswagen GTI Mark 1 was born. It had a 1.6L Inline-4 and put out an impressive 110 Horsepower.
In 1984 the Volkswagen GTI Mark 2 was made. You had two main options of engine: An 8-valve 1.8L Inline-4, or a 16-valve 1.8L Inline-4 (which aggressively improved Horsepower and Top Speed).
In 1991, after many different rally models of the Mark 2 were released, Volkswagen graced us with the Mark 3 GTI. The Mark 3 had a 2.0L Inline 4 and made a banging 150 Horsepower. The Mark three was hated by many due to its design, moving away from the boxy vibe to a smoother, rounder body.
The Mark 4 dawned on us in 1997 and most models had a weird 1.8L Inline 4, WITH A TURBO. If you don’t know what a turbo is; It is a turbine that uses the exhaust gas to spin an air compressor which injects more air (Oxygen) into the cylinders which allows them to burn more gasoline each second. This is why turbo vehicles need gasoline with a higher octane level, to reduce something called “knock” which we won’t get into.
In 2003, the Mark 5 GTI was released, which made people tingle in places they really didn’t want to tingle. It was one ugly motherfrigger. It strayed further and further away from the design of the original GTI but this time had a 2.0L inline-4 with a Turbo. The mark 5 GTI was the first baseline model GTI to exceed 200 Horsepower. The 2.0L inline-4 turbocharged engine is possibly the most popular engine in German Engineering.
The Mark 6 was released in 2008 and was the exact same (pretty much) as the Mark 5, but looked A LOT better.
Then, in 2012, the Mark 7 was released. The Mark 7 brought the GTI back to it’s boxy roots every so slightly, stuck with it’s 2.0L Inline 4 with a Turbo, and even introduced an electric version! It is gorgeous.
In 2019, Volkswagen released their newest model of the GTI: The Mark 8. The Mark 8 kept its, now very German, 2.0L inline-4 with a Turbo which put out almost 250 horsepower. The Mark 8 also introduced an evo-turbo engine, which is what petrol head environmentalists buy. I guess this is what Volkswagen had to release in order to keep the peace after the whole emissions scandal. It was also a beautiful design.
I owned a GTI for a couple years and it was arguably the most fun I have ever had behind the wheel. I drove a Mark 7 autobahn edition which put out a massive 220 horsepower, and after I had finished my customizations; it had accrued a further 80 Horses, totaling just over 300 horsepower in a front wheel drive hatchback! These cars are loved by millions for many reasons, and it sure as hell isn’t what they look like. This vehicle has some truly hidden raw power. One of my favorite YouTube channels is called Donut Media and they have a great video about the GTI: Check it out!