2015 Volkswagen GTI

Filed under: Performance, Hatchback, Volkswagen, First Drives

2015 Volkswagen GTI

The whine of the turbocharger. The gentle whoosh of the hatchback’s hydraulic lift supports. The mechanical ratcheting and clack of the parking brake. The growling exhaust note with that occasional gurgle.

The unmistakable sounds of the modern hot hatch are just one of the genre’s delightful qualities. This class of car, beloved by enthusiasts for its amplitude of sensory stimulants, low curb weights, potent engines and superior handling, traces its lineage directly back to the MkI Volkswagen GTI, which debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 1975. Upon its unveiling, the GTI was a near-instant success, spawning its own subclass of vehicle – a basic, mass-market commuter vehicle with a high performance package – as well as a plethora of new hot hatch suitors from automakers like Ford, Peugeot, Renault and Fiat.

Since that day nearly 40 years ago, the GTI has won awards, fended off rivals, undergone numerous tweaks, nips, tucks, redesigns and refreshes, but rarely lost its way. The GTI has always, first and foremost, provided its owners with an entertaining, confident driving demeanor full of those wonderful sights, smells and, of course, sounds, all for an attainable price.

We’ve been waiting a long time for our first crack at a US-spec model (it’s been on sale over in Europe for some time now and we actually first drove an overseas-spec example over a year ago), but that day has finally arrived. Has it been worth the wait?

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2015 Volkswagen GTI originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 May 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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