Here's a 1983 Volkswagen Golf GTI unlike any other. This classic hot hatch no longer has its original 1.8-liter four-cylinder. Instead, there's a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder from a Golf R dating from the early 2010s. Modifications to the powerplant push the output to around 400 horsepower. Driving it is a wild ride.
This GTI has so much power and the gearing is so short that first and second gear are basically useless. The third cog is where the output starts to become usable. Even then, the driver has to keep a tight rein on the controls. A person has to constantly make steering adjustments.
A problem that comes up several times in this video is that the hood latch is either loose or not strong enough to handle high speeds. During hard pulls, you can watch it partially disconnect. The driver has to stop twice to re-latch the piece.
The side mirrors are another issue. They can't handle the high speed, either, and fold inward at high speed. If you look at the bright side, you can think of it as rudimentary active aerodynamics.
Even at moderate speeds, the engine's sound is the loudest thing in the cockpit. Once the GTI drives onto the autobahn, things get even noisier. The driver has to yell to be heard in this video.
The GPS speedometer indicates the car hits a top speed of 149 miles per hour (239 kilometers per hour). That might not seem like a lot, but it might as well be the speed of sound in a vehicle that takes so much concentration to drive.
For the 2023 model year, VW introduced the Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition in the United States to commemorate the original coming to the country in 1983. It uses the GTI S grade as a starting point but comes in exclusive colors. There are honeycomb-pattern decals along the lower side sills. The gloss black wheels come from the Golf GTI Clubsport 45 model in Europe. Inside, the special model comes with Scalepaper Plaid cloth upholstery and a golf-ball-like shift knob. Prices are $33,055 with a six-speed manual or $33,855 with the dual-clutch gearbox.