Make no mistake, the Volkswagen GTI is the original hot hatch. First introduced in 1976 in Europe, those of us on the other side of the Atlantic had to wait until 1983 for a taste of what was destined to be an icon. The GTI proved that buyers on a budget could enjoy snappy acceleration and sharp handling wrapped in a practical package.
As years and generations of the GTI passed, the car became increasingly more sophisticated, luxurious, and heavy. GTI purists found the VR6 engine out of sync with the original purpose of the GTI. The Mark V GTI, introduced here in 2006, is heralded as a return to the original carÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s roots, and the new for 2010 Mark VI GTI is considered even more faithful. It was time for The Garage to see for themselves.