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By 3 July 2013 | Categories: News

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The day hot hatch and VW fans have been waiting for has finally arrived, as Volkswagen South Africa has announced the local availability of the new seventh generation Golf GTI.

In South Africa the 2.0 TSI manual version of the GTI will set buyers back R368 300 (including VAT and emissions tax), whilst the 2.0 TSI DSG version ups the RRP to R382 800.

The launch colours are Red, Black and White, which have all been synonymous with the Golf GTI since its early days, and the car also comes standard with newly designed 18" ‘Austin’ alloy wheels with size 225/45 tyres.

More power on tap from a frugal engine

The new Golf GTI is powered by a 1984 cc TSI turbocharged engine that boasts variable valve timing with dual camshaft adjustment. This efficient German powerplant churns out 162 kW of power which is exactly double the amount (81 kW) produced by the engine of the very first Golf GTI that launched in 1976. Overseas, buyers also have the option to opt for a “Performance version” of the GTI which adds an extra 7 kW of power, but this version of the car is not available locally.

In addition, the engine also produces a whopping 350 Nm of torque, which is a substantial increase from the 280 Nm delivered by the sixth generation Golf GTI. Drivers will be able to rocket to 100 km/h from standstill in 6.5 seconds and race all the way up to a top speed of 246 km/h (244 km/h in the DSG model).

VW equipped the new Golf GTI with a stop/start system, which assists in bringing down the combined-cycle (town and highway driving) fuel consumption figure to a claimed 6 litres per 100 km. The claimed fuel usage figure for the DSG version of the Golf GTI is 6.4 litres per 100 km, which is a whole litre per 100 km less than the previous model’s 7.4 litres per 100 km.  

Lighter and more eye catching design

Besides the fact that the engine produces more power, VW also looked to improve the GTI’s handling and performance by cutting down on the car’s overall weight. The diet that the engineers put the car on, coupled with the fact that its based on VW's new transverse matrix MQB platform, culminated on a weight loss of 42 kg (from 1393 kg to 1351 kg).

In terms of the styling, the new Golf GTI can be distinguished from the rest of the Golf range by its red painted brake callipers, smoked LED rear lights in a custom design, as well as dual chrome tailpipes. Just in case you forgot which version of the Golf you bought, VW also added a number of GTI badges at the front and rear of the car.

On the inside, buyers will find the figure-hugging Golf GTI Vienna leather sport seats that offer good ergonomic support. The GTI-specific interior is further differentiated by the GTI instrument cluster, pedals with brushed stainless steel, and leather sport steering wheel with multifunction keys and shifting pedals in the DSG version.

To the point

VW have sold almost 1.9 million Golf GTI vehicles around the globe, since the first Golf GTI went on sale in 1976. Of this total more than 59 500 have been sold in South Africa alone, with the car having been locally introduced back in 1982. With its new Golf GTI this tally looks set to get a tremendous boost over the next few years, as local GTI fans go on the hunt for Ford Focus ST owners.   

In other motoring related news, Naamsa’s latest vehicle sales figures has revealed that June 2013 was an excellent sales month for VW. The company’s Polo Vivo and Polo were the two best-selling new passenger vehicles in South Africa last month.

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