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But, how? How do you improve on something that has already been hailed by critics and the general driving public as the hottest hatch of its time?

01 Sep 2009

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“Boys dream about it, men drive it”.

That’s the chosen tag phrase by Volkswagen to put through its various marketing channels and it begs the question, why only do men drive this car? And then the second question beckons, what makes this car the fancy of pre-national service boys? Both of which we’ll answer at the end of this article.

For the benefit of those who haven’t been keeping track of the GTI’s presence here, the last car was a global hit. It came complete with handsome, inoffensive looks, 17” alloy rims that screamed for your undivided attention, one of the best seating positions in the business, eye-misting handling and probably the best sounding exhaust note in its segment, stock of course.

So how do you improve on something most have dubbed the epitome of a hot hatch?

For one, you don’t start from scratch. So you work from the existing PQ35 platform the previous car was built on, making sure you keep the dimensions similar. You pay attention to the right spots, the G-spots of the car if you will. Hitting them right will yield results the guys at VW could toast over a crisp Pilsner at the local pub and customers could find reason enough to slap that goofy smile on their face every time they’re in, and each time they step out of the GTI.  

The changes

The sixth GTI isn’t so much of a generational leap than a bettering of the last version, a version “five-point- two”.

The most obvious of changes came in the form of the car’s new look. The front mug of the car, once eager and happy, now has carved a sleeker, more aggressive image for itself with a sweeping headlamp design with both the bulbs individually housed by an over-sized chrome surrounding that helps keep the front neat and angry. The grill sitting between them gets a redesign as well with the big gaping yaw of the past replaced with a much leaner one, outlined by the signature red that differentiates this animal from the rest of the humble Golf range.

Past the front section, the middle portion spanning the A to C-pillar hasn’t really seen much change besides the thinner side-view mirrors with the indicator lamp.  Move to the rear and there’s a new rear lamp design that, if you look closely, spots a similar cluster to the previous GTI. The lamps are now less bulbous and encroaches slightly more into the rear-lid.

Car Information

This model is no longer being sold by local distributors


: -

Engine Type


4-cylinders in-line 16-valves Turbocharged

Engine Cap





157kW (210 bhp) / 5300 rpm



280 Nm / 1700 rpm



6-speed (A) DSG

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption


12.5 km/L

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