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45 years of the Golf GTI

3 years ago

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Dan Prosser | Ti co-founder


3 July 2021

Forty five years ago it was less a birth, more a marriage. In 1976 that Giugiaro-penned hatchback body was wed to a fuel-injected engine, and the original Volkswagen Golf GTI was the result. A matrimony of usability, affordability, performance and fun, one that has been a pillar of the performance car world ever since.

And so this isn’t a birthday we celebrate here so much as an anniversary. Rather than lavish the GTI with the traditional 45th anniversary gift (sapphire, in case you’re wondering) it seemed fitting to drive and reappraise two earlier versions before assessing the newest model, which itself marks the nameplate’s 45th year. The three GTIs I drove for this story were chosen because they represent the original, the latest and – so as far as I’m concerned – the greatest.

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