For seven generations and over 40 years now, the Volkswagen Golf GTI has been regarded by many as the Ultimate Hot Hatch. It is likewise known as the Ultimate Sports Car in the brand’s own vehicle line-up. While these qualities allow drivers to enjoy their favorite twisty and open road, the majority of Golf GTIs are relegated to daily driver duties.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the car can be a truly comfortable place to be when stuck in traffic. Yet Volkswagen Philippines decided that its Golf GTI owners deserve much more. In fact, the cars themselves needed to be let loose—albeit in a safe environment.
This is why the German carmaker’s official Philippine distributor organized the Volkswagen Driving Experience at the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga. The world-class raceway provided a safe and controlled venue where owners and would-be customers could experience the car’s limits and full potential.
Clark International Speedway’s long straights, for instance, allowed participants to unleash the 2.0-liter Turbo Stratified Injection (TSI) motor’s 220hp and 350Nm of torque without hesitation. These horsepower and torque figures, coursed to the front wheels via 6-speed DSG transmission, can even be increased to a whopping 290hp and 420Nm with the ABT Power-Up module. This allows the hot hatch to sprint from 0-100kph in just 5.9 seconds and reach a 254kph top speed.
Apart from going fast n a straight line, owners got to put their own Golf GTIs through their paces around the track’s corners. They did so with the utmost confidence, thanks to electronic aids like Electronic Stability Program, Anti-Slip Regulation, Electronic Differential Lock with XDS Plus traction, Engine Drag Torque Control, and 16-inch disc brakes with signature red calipers.
The trademark red stoppers, however, are just one design facet that has made the Golf GTI a modern-day style icon. The sport bumper, grille, LED tail lamps, rear spoiler, 18-inch Austin alloy rims, dual tailpipes, and bi-xenon headlights with daytime running lights give it a subtle yet sporty vibe.
Owners and would-be clients can their GTIs a bit more flair with the Oettinger Kit that adds aerodynamic bits like two-piece front spoiler with splitter, side skirts, and rear apron with diffuser. There was even a special display unit spruced up by ABT, with goodies like headlamp covers, grille enhancements, a front spoiler, side skirts, FR20 alloy wheels wrapped in 235/30R20 rubber, a rear skirt with diffuser, and quad tailpipes with exhaust mounting kit.
Folks who want to avail of the Oettinger and ABT kits can do so at their VW dealer. As for the test drive session, this was made possible thanks to the help of Shell, official fuel sponsor. Besides the Golf GTI, participants got to try the full range of Volkswagen offerings. This allowed each one to see which car suits their needs and driving style.
As for the Golf GTI, the VW Driving Experience showed that it is more than just a fun-to-drive daily driver. It can play hard when one wishes to do so.