April 11, 2013
Exterior features include red painted brake calipers, smoked rear lights, red striping on the grille (that now extends into the headlights), and dual 80-mm chrome tail pipes. The new wheels, dubbed “Brooklyn,” are machine polished and are lighter in weight than the wheels on current GTI models. Seventeen-inch wheels are standard, with 18- and 19-inch wheels available as an option (again, this may differ in Canada).
The GTI is 15 mm lower than the standard Golf, but its designers have also used a range of detailing, striping and other visual cues to enhance the image of a lower, wider car. These include extending red striping across the front, painting the lower section of the car in body colour rather than black, including a splitter on the lower edge of the front spoiler, and restyling the side sills and rear diffuser.
The roof spoiler uses a new design that’s larger than the Golf spoiler, and GTI badges are applied to the front fenders at the height of the character line. The GTI logo remains the same.
2015 Volkswagen GTI. Click image to enlarge
Inside, the European version of the Golf GTI retains its signature tartan interior and black headliner. Red stitching contrasts with the interior panels on the seats and gear shift.
Additional distinctive interior features include a customized sport steering wheel, special shifter grip, an instrument cluster designed to resemble that of a luxury chronograph, red ambient lighting, special trim strips and panels, brushed stainless steel pedals and foot rest, and stainless steel door sill entry plates with integrated lighting.
An interesting GTI variant in Europe is the diesel version, the GTD. Why not? Audi has won Le Mans over multiple years with diesel-powered vehicles, and diesels are legendary for their low-end torque, a characteristic favoured by buyers in the all-important American market. You can bet a GTD would sell well in Canada (Volkswagen sells every TDI they bring here, and resale prices are astonishing), but bringing the GTD here may depend on the U.S. evolving their views of diesel engines (which is happening, apparently, as witnessed by strong sales of the new Passat TDI).
The new Golf models — reportedly including the GTI — will be built in Mexico, which could bring the prices down. Volkswagen insists that quality will match that of German-built equivalents.
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