13 Things You Might Not Know About the GTI

Over the centuries, Germany has given us wonderful beer, the very best composers (ever heard of some dudes named Bach or Beethoven?), two-time Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz, and the legendary Golf GTI. The latter of these is on the verge of a major facelift, and we couldn't think of a better time to give you some GTI facts you might not know:

Find Your OEM Volkswagen GTI Parts Here

1. A small group of VW engineers conceived the Golf GTI under the code name “Sport Golf.”

1st gen GTI

A first-gen 2-door GTI.

2. The first Golf GTI was a bit of a Frankenstein car, using components from the Audi 80/Fox GT, including the 1.6L engine. This approach worked though, as the original Golf GTI could go 0-60 in 9.0 seconds. Not bad for the 70s!

3. The first generation Golf, built from 1976-1984, was marketed as the VW Rabbit in North America. We didn't get the Rabbit GTI until 1983, and the nameplate didn't change to Golf until 1985.

4. A version of the first generation GTI, called the CitiGolf, was produced and sold in South Africa until 2009.

Citi golf

A VW CitiGolf, built in South Africa until 2009.

5. The Golf GTI has been produced for 7 generations, with the 8th set to debut in 2018.

6. The Golf GTI has plenty of relatives on the road. The GTI is built on the VW Group A platform, which is also used in the new Beetle, Jetta, Bora, Scirocco, and Eos. The same platform is also used in the Audi TT and Audi A3.

7. The original Golf GTI was only supposed to be produced in a limited run of 5,000. Forty years later, sales have surpassed 2 million.

8. Do you even know what GTI stands for? Don't worry, you're not alone. The three most famous letters in VW's history are actually an anagram for Grand Turismo Injection.

9. While the first Golf GTI produced 110hp, the 7th generation boasts a 218hp output—that's nearly twice the power!

10. In 1983, a second-generation Rabbit GTI would set you back $7,990. However, a third-gen 1992 GTI had a sticker price of $13,910. That's an increase of 74%!

11. The MKIII GTI was the worst selling generation in the US, only pushing 28,115 units. The MKII was the highest, selling 66,223 units.

1996 GTI

A third-gen 1996 Golf GTI, which sold less than 30,000 units.

12. The “GTI” emblem was just one of the badge emblems a Golf could have. The others were: GL, CL, GLI, G60, VR6, 8V, and 16V.

13. 2017 will be the last year for the 2-door Golf GTI, but don't fret! The 8th-gen Golf GTI is rumored to be lighter, more powerful, and more fuel efficient.