New, unique, powerful – when the Golf GTI was presented to the world’s public at the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt in 1975 and launched one year later, it was a sensation. Visually, it differs from the original Volkswagen Golf only in a few details, but behind its discreet exterior hides a real racing machine – powered by a new, lively 110 PS engine. Half a dozen like-minded people, including the then Volkswagen press officer Anton Konrad, had forged the secret plan at Volkswagen in 1974 to develop a “Golf sport”. They succeeded in transforming a compact car into a sports car that remained affordable and also proved its worth in everyday life. To this day, the Golf GTI is a sports car for everyone. After the initially planned production run of 5,000 units, more than two million units have been delivered worldwide after eight generations and various special models. This makes it one of the most successful compact sports cars in the world.
Fascination in just three letters
With the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Volkswagen launched a sports car for everyone in 1976, hitting the pulse of the time. We look back and show how the sports car from Wolfsburg has developed from generation to generation.