PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 August, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 August, 2009, 12:00am

Hi-de-hi, GTI

Our discussion of the latest, sixth version of the Volkswagen Golf GTI in last week's column raised some questions about the car. One reader wanted to know what 'GTI' stands for (Grand Tourer or Touring Injection), while others debated the year of the Mark I version's launch.

Volkswagen Hong Kong's sales pamphlets this week date the first GTI from 1976 to 1983, but the marque's history highlights and basic data could settle further pub and DB Plaza debate about this car.

We also hope the photos show how Volkswagen's designers tinkered with the initial GTI's clean, lines as its engineers tweaked faster, more efficient and cleaner engines over the years. And we show how Volkswagen has measured the GTI's carbon-dioxide fug per kilometre since the Mark IV, while many fuddy-duddy local dealers and motoring writers still skip this consumer information, three years after Al Gore's global-warming warnings in Inconvenient Truth.

Golf GTI Mk I - 1977-1984


Original Golf GTI design by, Giorgetto Giugiaro, unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show.


Golf GTI Mk I (above) unveiled with a 1.6-litre, 108bhp engine. Length: 3,705mm; width: 1,630 mm; height: 1,395mm. Top speed: 180km/h; 0-100km/h in nine seconds. Fuel thirst: 11.21 litres per 100km (35.2mpg) in town.


Right-hand drive GTI launched; a cabriolet version follows.

1982 1.8-litre, 110bhp version unveiled. Top speed: 180km/h; 0-100km/h in 8.2 seconds. Fuel thirst: 10.6l/100km (26.6mpg) in town.


1.6-litre turbo, 69 bhp GTD diesel launched. Top speed: 153km/h; 0-100km/h in 13.5 seconds. Fuel thirst: 6.6l/100km (42.5mpg) in town.

Golf GTI Mk II - 1984-1992


The Mk II (above) gets a 1.8-litre, 110bhp engine. Length: 3,985mm (280mm longer); width: 1,680 mm (50mm wider); height: 1,395mm. Top speed: 190km/h; 0-100km/h in 8.3 seconds. Fuel thirst: 8.6l/100km (32.5mpg) in town.


Facelifted model featuring double headlights and twin exhausts; Five-door GTI launched.

Golf GTI Mk III - 1992-1998


Mk III (above) launched with 2.0-litre, 8V, 113bhp engine. Length: 4,020mm (+35mm); width: 1,710mm (+30mm); height: 1,405mm (+10mm). Top speed: 196km/h; 0-100km/h in 10.1 seconds. Fuel thirst: 10.3l/100km (27.4mpg) in town.


Second GTI Cabriolet launched.


ABS brakes made standard on GTIs.

Golf GTI Mk IV - 1998-2004


Mk IV (above) launched with 1.8-litre, 123bhp and 1.8-litre turbo, 148bhp engines. Length: 4,149mm (+129mm); width: 1,735mm (+25mm); height: 1,439mm (+34mm). Top speed: 200km/h (1.8-litre) / 215km/h (1.8-litre turbo); 0-100km/h in 9.9 seconds (1.8-litre) / 8.5 seconds (1.8-litre turbo). Fuel thirst: 8.3l/100km (34mpg; 1.8-litre) / 8l/100km (35.3mpg; 1.8-litre turbo) combined. CO2: 199g/km (1.8-litre) / 192g/km (1.8-litre turbo). Going for about HK$50,000-HK$70,000 second hand this week, but watch for signs of thrashing.


First diesel Golf GTI with 1.9-litre, 148bhp engine. Top speed: 214km/h; 0-100km/h in 8.6 seconds. Fuel thirst: 5.4l/100km (52.3mpg) combined. CO2: 146g/km.


Launch of the 25 years edition GTI Anniversary with either a 1.8-litre turbo, 178bhp petrol or a 1.9-litre, 148bhp diesel engine.

Golf GTI Mk V - 2005-2008


Golf GTI Mk V (above) launched with a 2.0-litre, 197hp, T-FSI engine. For the first time, the GTI is available as an automatic, with the revolutionary DSG twin-plate gearbox. Length: 4,216mm (+67mm); width: 1,759mm (+24mm); height: 1,466mm (+27mm). Top speed: 233km/h (232km/h DSG); 0-100km/h in 7.2 seconds (6.9 seconds DSG). Fuel thirst: 8l/100km (35.3mpg) combined. CO2: 189g/km. Used 2005 DSGs range between HK$160,000 and HK$250,000.


The most powerful Golf produced by Volkswagen, GTI W12-650 design study, is unveiled with 6.0-litre bi-turbo 641hp engine. Top speed: 321km/h (estimated); 0-100km/h in 3.7 seconds. 2008 2.0-litre, T-FSI, 226hp GTI Pirelli. Top speed: 243km/h; 0-100km/h in 6.8 seconds. Fuel thirst: 8.2l/100km (34.4mpg) combined. CO2: 194g/km.

Golf GTI Mk VI - 2009 onwards


Golf GTI Concept unveiled. Top speed: 236km/h; 0-100km/h in 7.2 seconds. Fuel thirst: 7.5l/100km (37.6mpg) combined. CO2: 178g/km. HK$318,000.


Golf GTI Mk VI (below) displayed at the Geneva Motor Show with 2.0-litre TSI, 207hp engine. For the first time, the GTI is available with adaptive chassis control, electronic limited-slip differential and seven airbags. Length: 4,199mm (-17mm); Width: 1,779mm (+20mm); Height: 1,479mm (+13 mm). Volkswagen Hong Kong says the latest version is 4,213mm long, 1,786mm wide and 1,501mm high. Top speed: 236km/h; 0-100km/h in 7.2 seconds. Fuel thirst: 7.4l/100km (38.1mpg) combined. CO2: 170g/km.

What is/was your favourite Golf GTI - and can you still enjoy one in Hong Kong? Tell us on