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Our Cars: Volkswagen Golf GTI

10 months ago

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Dan Prosser | Ti co-founder


11 August 2023

My Golf GTI was flawed. The front end would dart into a bend well enough, but the rear would take a split second before following its lead, then smudge its tyres across the asphalt. There was a strange disconnect front to rear, like the two ends of the car had quarrelled and were no longer on speaking terms. And then, away from the corner in second or third, throttle wide open, the front wheels would scrabble away at the tarmac without ever really hooking up.

But that was because it had mid-range Falken rubber on the driven wheels and not particularly sporting Michelins on the back; tyres that did the GTI badge no justice whatsoever. Even though all four had thousands of miles of life left in them, I knew they needed to go. The car was far too good to be let down any longer by inadequate boots. Matching high performance tyres would, I was sure, bring my car to life.

I’d chosen this very example – a low-mileage Mk7.5 Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance (that little suffix bringing more power, bigger brakes and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential) with optional adaptive dampers and a manual transmission – because I knew it would be the most sporting Golf GTI that I could afford. But not on that patchwork quilt of tyres, tyres that wouldn’t have been up the task even if all four corners had been matching.

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