For the past 20 years we are witnessing variety of hatchbacks wearing different badges, in different color and shapes. But, like the European markets there aren't any hot hatches here. May be the car makers were waiting for the perfect time. And now Volkswagen has decided to pull the trigger. They have launched their new avatar Volkswagen GTI. The first real hot hatch for India.
Talking about the new GTI, the first thing to notice is their stats and figures. The price range of Rs 25.99 lakh, top speed of 236 kmph, 189 bhp and these all are combined within a small hatchback, literally in a Polo, costlier than Skoda Octavia VRS and even delivers more power. And there lies wow factor of this German.
Under The Hood
The GTI is powered by 1.8L TSI, 4-cylinder in-line engine. It is the same motor used in Octavia VRS and Superb in a bigger 2 litre engine. The more powerful version of the same EA888 four cylinder is also featured in the much powerful sibling, the Golf GTI. Here, the latest GTI delivers an astonishing 189 bhp @ 5400-6200 rpm and a peak torque of 250 Nm @ 1250-5300 rpm. These are class-leading figures for a hatchback in India. The power delivery of this 1798 cc engine to the front wheel is made possible through the 7-speed automatic DSG gear box, which can be controlled using paddle-shifters beneath the steering column.
How It Works
Hot hatches are meant for performance and this new GTI is delivering everything what a true petrol-head asks for. The top speed of this wonder machine is said to be 233kmph and it can hit 0 to 100kmph in 7.2 seconds. One thing fascinates everyone is that, it all comes from a small hatch back (Polo). Like all other VW, this one will have smooth handling abilities. As it shares many technical and non-technical features with the better version, the Golf GTI. But this one will not disappoint any GTI lovers in the performance and handling.
Starting from the front, the full LED headlamps with striking red inserts itself indicates the presence of GTI. The front bumper features the signature GTI Honeycomb grill with wider front air intake, red radiator grille louvre and stylish side skirts are attention seeking elements of this car. A subtle roof spoiler gives some amount of downforce in high acceleration. The front fog lamp also delivers the static cornering function by making night-drives more comfort. The new Dual-Chrome exhaust pipes grants the GTI an iconic racing car detailing from the rear. Volkswagen has used heat insulating glass on side windows and the back and it also features 'Salvador' grey metallic 17-inch alloy wheels.
Coming into the interiors, GTI signature red stripes and stitching can be seen everywhere. The dashboard and steering wheel is decorated with leather and red stitching. Even the hand brake lever is wrapped in leather. The Indian GTI gets a leather upholstery with a 'Clark' Cloth seat. It also gets an Apple CarPlay stereo with MirrorLink. The pedals are brushed in stainless steel to give a sporty appeal in the drivers cabin.
Indian GTI is available only in 3-door version, in order to bring out the class differentiation from Polo to GTI.
Functional Features & Safety Standards
Volkswagen do not compromise with safety norms in their cars. It feature 6 air bags along with 4 disc brakes and a built in ABS. Electronic stability control, electronic differential locks, ASR, EDL and EDTC are featured in this new VW. There is no need to describe the built quality of GTI, as Volkswagen is renowned for their crash testing results and figures and awarded many times as the safest car in many segments.
The car features Hill start assist, hill holding assist, cruise control, central locking system with remote control, automatic headlight range adjustment and start/stop system with generative braking.
Volkswagen GTI is a true petrol-heads car. The price tag of this car may seems little malaise for the Indian customers, considering it as only a little hatchback. But this car is meant for those people who really knows what a hot hatch is. All those Golf GTI fans will definitely love this latest kit from VW, as we all know this is the smaller version of Golf, which has already set the benchmark for hot hatches around the world. The near alternative of this car is Punto Abarth, priced at 10 lakhs and featuring 145 bhp. Soon or later other global contenders like Renault Megane Sport, Audi A3 Sportsback, Ford Focus RS, Vauxhall VXR8 GTS, Honda Civic Type R and many more will be announced in India. It all depends on the reception of VW GTI on Indian soil. That is why Volkswagen is selling only 99 units of their new offering in India. This might be the trials before bringing the renowned hot hatch, the Golf GTI.