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Relationships with “HOT-ness”, memorable though they may be, aren’t always KEEPERS.
Exception: “Drive…He Said’s” relationship with the re-designed 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI .
Hot Hatch Bodacious :
Take an iconic, if slightly prosaic, small family hatchback. ADD: √ Chiseled lower air-dam, √ Roof spoiler, √ Faux mesh rear lower diffuser, √ Tweezed rectangular bezeled light assemblies (optionally LED), √ 18″ cheese-hole alloy wheels, √ Squatter stance.
Mk. VII Golf GTI ‘s angle dependent handsome ≠ Maserati GranTurismo sexy. Not even if you choose the 3-door over 5-door configuration.
No 40+ year old need apologize about arriving at a formal event in the classic Tornado Red Golf GTI. Can the same be said for a Ford Focus ST?
Run Rabbit Run:
Only after ironing out quality control issues at its Westmoreland, Pennsylvania plant, did Volkswagen finally unleash the slightly detuned U.S. Spec. Mk. I Rabbit GTI in 1983. At the time, the power-to-weight ratio of 23.3 lbs/ hp was unheard of for a front drive compact hatchback. Seven generations on, and that ratio has improved by 40%.
After a few decades of weight gains, the successor 2015 Golf GTI has pared back poundage to 2972 lbs. by switching to the new Modularer Querbauksten (MQB) platform. Revisions to the EA888 1984 cc stratified injected, dual VVT and VVL, liquid intercooled IHI turbocharged, gas straight-4 powerplant have netted a slight horsepower gain to 210 hp, but torque has swelled by 25% to 258 at a submarinal 1500 rpm.
Despite vestiges of turbo lag, the amount of grunt on tap in 6th gear at 90 mph will prevent the Golf GTI S from getting dusted by those on the Autobahn not of supercar ilk.
Even if fewer gear changes are needed around town excursions, it’s not advised to forego the sensory stimulation imparted by effortless near close ratio shifter movements, and light clutch pedal action. The independent front strut, rear quad-link suspension has been tuned for greater ride compliance. Steering turn-in is quicker too. Best of all: the new GTI is more understeer neutral than ever.
2015 Golf GTI Drive Mode throttle & steering Selection can be programmed to a choice between Comfort & Sport modes.
Most satisfying Combo: Sport throttle mode with the less stiff Comfort steering mode, announcing genuine tire-to-road feel.
Enthusiasts can laud VW for finally allowing a multi-tier deactivation of stability control, making clutch-slipping burnout antics easier. Without the $2200 pricier Performance Package, including a Quaife-style helical limited slip differential, the base GTI S exhibits a frenzied search for traction using only ABS torque vectoring.
Pamper Us Plaid:
Nothing says “You’re now inside a VW GTI cabin now” more than the ubiquitous “Clark” white & red on grey/ charcoal tartan seat draping. Except for that dimpled Golf-Ball transmission shifter knob. Proving that Kitschy can = Bold.
A flat bottomed steering wheel would feel more special were it not also fitted to ordinary Golf TSis. VDO-style white-on-black gauges resemble what Porsches used to get. Golf GTI switchgear, seeming more ordinary than Hyundai Elantra fitments by day, have found improved dial sizing and illumination for more intuitive night-time manipulation.
The wait for a more versatile VW Multimedia interface is over. It’s a new color 5.8″ center stack display.
Trick Features 1) Capacitive LCD screen senses hand gestures, including waving and pinch zooming, from a distance of less than 6″-inches.
2) Nanny text nagging: “Please Do Not Forget Your Cell Phone” once the ignition is turned off.
Still it lags the crisp graphics and intuitive menu perusal available in the Mazda3. A real head scratcher: I-pod music selections displayed lag the playing selection by a sum of at least one or two.
2015 Golf GTI manual adjusting front buckets completely debunk the Ford Focus ST myth that only “Boa-Constrictive” branded Recaros, with awkward knee perching, are apt for snug but comfortable enthusiast driver holding.In case you choose 3-door over 5-door to save a few hundred buckaroos, the front thrones slide forward to “Part the Sea” for “Real Grownups” to sink into the commodious rear quarters without gripes. And they have a memory return for pitch and recline angle.
The new Golf GTI continues in the tradition as a segment cargo space leader. In their quest to render the new GTI cabin quieter, Volkswagen even lined the inner ventral side of door pockets with felt lining.
Jack of All Hot Hatch Trades, Master of Most :
Just a small Post It should fit the few niggles of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI S: Goofy proprietary Apple I-device MDI cable; Exterior design didn’t change much; Instrumentation still won’t dazzle a millennial Gamer’s; Options can push the M.S.R.P. over $30K.
The 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI is that form of versatile automotive HOT-ness you take home and never kick out of the Garage!
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