No other sporting label in the compact class is as familiar or as successful as Volkswagen's "GTI" signature. When the first Golf GTI made its debut 36 years ago, the letter combination became – almost overnight – the definition of a new vehicle segment. Since that time, only the GTI has been considered the original among compact sports cars. After selling over 1.8 million Golf GTI cars, Volkswagen is now launching the first open-top version of the icon: the Golf GTI Cabriolet with 155 kW / 210 PS. The convertible, which sports such standard features as an electric soft-top, air conditioning, electric windows, an audio system and a roll-over protection system, will begin arriving at dealers in mid-June; the open-top GTI is offered at prices from 31,350 euros in Germany. And despite a clear performance advantage over its direct competitors, the new Golf GTI Cabriolet is the most economical model in its class.
Driving performance of the GTI: Powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, the most powerful Golf Cabriolet ever accelerates from 0-100 km/h in just 7.3 seconds. Its top speed is 237 km/h (DSG: 235 km/h). This contrasts with a combined fuel consumption of just 7.6 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 177 g/km (DSG: 7.7 l/100 km and 180 g/km CO2). The Golf GTI is also the only convertible in the compact class up to 210 PS to be offered with a dual clutch gearbox.
Insignias of the GTI: Visually, the convertible is distinguished by typical GTI features. Exterior GTI trademarks include the red-framed radiator grille with honeycomb structure and GTI signature, the front GTI bumper, a new rear diffuser, chrome tailpipes, LED rear lights, side sill extensions and standard 17-inch 'Denver' alloy wheels. Inside, the convertible is identified as a GTI by its sport seats upholstered in classic 'Jacky' tartan fabric.
Soft top of the GTI: The soft top of the Golf Cabriolet, with a basic construction already designed for high speeds, was adopted 1:1 for the GTI. Its standard electro-hydraulic drive opens the top in just 9.0 seconds. It can also be operated while driving at speeds of up to 30 km/h.
Safety in the GTI: Providing an optimal level of all-round protection in the new Golf GTI Cabriolet are: a roll-over protection system that rapidly deploys in fractions of a second; a reinforced windscreen frame; and numerous other structural modifications (underbody, side parts, sills, rear bulkhead, doors). Front and side head/thorax airbags, a knee airbag on the driver's side and ESP complete the safety package. In addition, the convertible's standard equipment includes an electronic transverse differential lock (XDS), which further improves vehicle dynamics and safety when accelerating through bends.
Everyday practicality of the GTI: When the new Golf GTI Cabriolet's roof is closed, conditions are exceptionally quiet inside. What remains is the sonorous sound of the turbocharged engine. In addition, the Golf GTI Cabriolet offers one of the most spacious interiors in its class and – thanks to the soft top – a 250 litre boot which is fully usable even when the top is down. In addition, the split rear bench backrest can be folded, which significantly increases cargo capacity. This high degree of everyday utility was always a great strength of the GTI – sporting appeal without compromising practicality. And this is also true of the first convertible in GTI history!