The MK5 Volkswagen Golf was originally equipped with a 2.5-liter five-cylinder that produces 150 horsepower. Stock, it's capable of reaching 60 miles per hour in nine seconds while topping out at 130 mph. However, this car has a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder under the hood. So the question is, how much faster will it go on the autobahn?
Borrowed from an Audi RS3, the turbocharged five-cylinder produces 420 hp, almost three times the car's original horsepower. The extra power is immediately apparent as the Volkswagen Golf gets up to speed much faster. Before long, it's cruising above 140 mph (230 kilometers per hour).
Gallery: 2023 VW Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition
However, it's not just the engine that's changed. The timbre of the sound it makes is deeper, fuller, and more resonant. It's also happier to rev. While the gauges suggest the stock motor redlined at just over 6,000 rpm, the turbo five-cylinder clicks off crisp shifts at 6,800 rpm.
On the autobahn, the Golf GTI is the fastest car. Other vehicles pull to the right, letting it pass. Eventually, it hits 150 mph, showing 242 kph on the speedometer. The 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo motor seems like it has more to give. In the current Audi RS3 it produces 407 hp and offers a top speed of 186 mph, well into supercar territory.
Whether or not the GTI can go faster could be a subject of debate. What is not up to debate is that the MK5 absolutely devours the autobahn, inhaling large chunks of it like a famished terrier. Compared to the modified MK1 Golf we saw make a sketchy autobahn run, it looks stable and unflappable.
Volkswagen produced the MK5 Golf from 2005 to 2009. In the US, it was rebranded the Rabbit in an attempt to drum up more sales due to the name's nostalgia factor. The original MK1 Golf was called the Rabbit in the US, and the GTI model kicked off the hot hatch craze. Thanks to its popularity, other automakers like Honda, Toyota, and Ford rushed hot versions of their compact economy cars to market to get a slice of the Rabbit pie.