The Volkswagen Golf GTI has changed a lot since its inception, but the car’s core attributes, its fundamental character, tries to remain the same. The Mk 8 generation is the latest iteration, but a new concept takes it back to the past, blending elements of the Mk 2 Golf from the mid-1980s with today’s tech-packed offering into the GTI BBS Concept. It even comes with gold wheels.

The concept is an entirely visual affair. The Mk 8 GTI’s potent powertrain, the most powerful one ever, remains unchanged. The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder makes the same 241 horsepower (170 kilowatts) and 272 pound-feet (370 Newton-meters) of torque. The only “performance” upgrade is the addition of a new Borla exhaust, which likely improved the sound and added a negligible amount of power to its output. 

Gallery: VW Golf GTI BBS Concept

The visual changes are minor, though they do give the hot hatch a retro flair, especially the bright gold 19-inch BBS Super RS wheels, which feature the iconic BBS waffle and hex pattern. They’re wrapped in Delinte 235/35/19 D7 tires. The wheels certainly draw one’s attention to the car, though there are other minor tweaks. The car is lowered thanks to a handful of custom components and H&R coil overs. The tweaked suspension gives the GTI adjustable camber.

The package is completed with a vintage red-and-black livery on the hood and a red-and-black pinstripe down the side of the car. Inside, the car is no different than stock. It keeps things familiar for people climbing inside the retro-inspired hot hatch. The Mk 8 GTI will never be mistaken for the Mk 2, but Volkswagen has done a remarkable job keeping the GTI as true to its origins as possible. The most powerful version ever is available right now, and a few design tweaks can at least conjure up a bit of the past for a hit of nostalgia.

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