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The powerhouse in the compact class: in the 1970s, the Golf GTI – now in its eighth generation in 2020 – was a cult car from the word go. We reveal what makes the punchy front of the GTI so special, and how this has developed over the past half century. Marco Pavone, Head of Exterior Design for the Volkswagen Brand, explains the generations and the latest GTI model.

Red-bordered grille and the three magic letters: G, T and I

An everyday talent with a dash of “brutishness” – all signs of the revolutionary design concept of the first Golf GTI.
The second generation of Golf GTI has a more aggressive look: the side, in particular, gives it a more “broad-shouldered” appearance.

Refined look and front grille in same colour as car

Grown-up: The improved comfort is clear to see from the third GTI. For the first time, the front spoiler and radiator grille are the same colour as the car.
Four in a row: “The Golf 4 GTI set new benchmarks in terms of individuality, quality and speed,” says Marco Pavone, Head of Exterior Design for the new Golf GTI.

From horizontal lines to honeycomb pattern

The honeycomb makes its debut: GTI number five saw the iconic honeycomb pattern introduced to the sports compact from Wolfsburg for the first time.
A throwback to the original GTI, thanks to two parallel red GTI lines, sharper edges and new, black fins in the front apron.
Driving pleasure and style are etched on the face of the seventh GTI. For the first time, the GTI trim runs into the full-LED headlights.
Another Golf GTI that will not disappoint its fans. New and with a particularly impressive front: the honeycomb pattern hides the optional fog lights, in X formation, for the first time.