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VW Mk6 Golf GTI - Want one? - 2008

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In keeping with its ‘let’s get the new Golf out there as quickly
as possible’ philosophy, VW has released the first pictures of the Mk6 Golf
GTI, set to be formally unveiled in Paris next week.

Given that the garden Mk6 is a fairly gentle evolution of
the Mk5, it’s no surprise that the new GTI shares much of its looks with its
predecessor. Look closer, though, and there are a few changes.

VW has tried to emphasise the wideness of the new GTI by
extending and stretching the front lower grille, and pushing the foglights to
the far corners of the lower air intake.

It’s the same story at the back, where the tailpipes sit at
the very edge of the rear diffuser. No, it’s not revolutionary stuff, but the
alterations certainly give the new GTI a squatter stance.

VW says that it wanted to keep the GTI looking clean and
free from spoilers and flaps and so forth. They’ve certainly succeeded.

We can’t help thinking that, had VW wanted to emphasise the
differences between the old and new GTIs, they could have at least given it a
different paintjob (white with red trim is so Mk5, guys) and some new wheels.
Then again, GTIs aren’t shouty hot hatches, are they?

It’s a subtle upgrade in the power department, too. The new
GTI gets the same two-litre turbo engine as the Edition 30 GTI, but putting out
207bhp and 206lb ft of torque. That’s 10bhp more than the Mk5 GTI, but 24bhp
less than the Edition 30 - and way down on the Astra VXR and Mazda3 MPS.

It’ll hit 62mph in 7.2 seconds, which is exactly the same as
the Mk5 but a full second slower than the hot Astra. Top speed is a healthy 149mph.

But the GTI has always been about more than raw power, and
we’d expect the Mk6 to be every bit as good to drive as its illustrious
predecessor, as it gets the Scirocco’s adaptive chassis control (ACC) and a
trick electronic diff as standard.

So what do you think? Cool, understated revision or just too
subtle? Drop us an email at tgweb@bbc.co.uk and vent your collective spleens.

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