This is the Golf GTI. All seven generations of it actually and they are driven by the one and only – ex-Stig. As you may know, Ben Collins is the man who used to be the Stig for years at Top Gear. However, since he revealed in his autobiography he is the Stig, he has been spending his time driving various cars and trying to be a car journalist. He is not perfect at it, but he is fairly good.
In the latest series, Ben Collins is behind the wheel of the Golf GTI and he has a chance to drive all seven generations of it. Reviewing cars for Goodwood Road & Racing, Ben Collins walks us through all seven generations of the most popular hot-hatch telling us many interesting facts about every one of them.
Spoiler Alert! The third generation GTI has not been praised at all. Yet, ever since the fifth generation, the Golf GTI is back on track. The first generation started its life back in 1976. It was possibly the only cheap sporty car at that time. Only the Renault 5 Gordini and some other small French cars could cope with it. No, it was not the first hot-hatch, but it definitely popularized the segment and made it one of the most important in the world.
While the first car had an engine developing slightly less than 110hp, the latest Golf GTI moves around with 230 hp. However, special versions such as the Clubsport and the Clubsport S, with track-focused chassis, have far more powerful engines. The Clubsport S is motivated with 310hp engine and it is the fastest Nurburgring FWD car of all time. Don’t let us even start writing about tuned versions.