Not wanting to be left in the sales dust by the quattroporte Civic Si, Volkswagen intends to bring the 5-door version of the GTI mkV stateside for 2007. That's great news for those who love the driving dynamics of the GTI, but need or want the additional doors. It will add $500 to the bottom line, and 60 pounds at the scales, but other than that, you'll come out unscathed. The latest generation of the Golf/Rabbit platform is peerless in its class, and the GTI model has had its teeth sharpened big-time. Paying homage to the original GTI formula while leaving room for updates to equipment levels and safety gear, the latest GTI is a winning combo of well-assembled efficiency and frisky motoring. The 200hp FSI engine is plenty powerful, while offering good chassis balance due to reduced weight vis-a-vis the VR6. Coupled with the pre-selector DSG gearbox, you can really wring this thing out while feeling like a racecar driver. We love the nods to the original badass GTI like the red stripe around the grille and the plaid cloth for the seats. The GTI was one of the bright spots in a dark automotive age, and this latest version channels that ethos in the best of ways. Not bad for a buy-in starting at about $23K.

Press release after the jump

[Source: Volkswagen via germancarblog]


PRESS RELEASE

2007 GTI: NOW AVAILABLE WITH FOUR DOORS!

A sporty stance and performance features including a dual-clutch DSG® make the 2007 GTI from Volkswagen a worthy successor to the original "Pocket Rocket"

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The Volkswagen GTI was first introduced over 30 years ago in Europe, and in the U.S. in 1983. Heralded as the first truly affordable German engineered sports sedan, the model quickly won fans with its combination of performance and hatchback practicality. In 2007, for the first time ever in the U.S. market, a four-door GTI is available.

So endearing was the GTI, and so enduring is its legacy, that whole generations who never experienced the original recognize those three letters-G-T-I-as forever linked to the Volkswagen that earlier generations affectionately called the "pocket rocket." The 2007 GTI starts at $22,100.

Sporty performance is what the GTI was – and is – all about. The 2007 GTI is equipped with an ideal power source to carry on that tradition. The 2.0-liter FSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine incorporates maintenance-free hydraulic lifters for smooth, worry-free operation. A fully electronic engine management system includes drive-by-wire throttle control and FSI direct injection for optimal fuel delivery, which increases power, and improves efficiency while reducing emissions. The Volkswagen 2.0T engine cranks out 200 horsepower at 5,100 revolutions per minute and 207 lbs.-ft. of torque between 1,800 and 5,000 rpm. Combined with a standard six-speed transmission, it accelerates the 2007 GTI from 0-60 miles per hour in 7.0 seconds and to a top speed electronically limited to 130 mph.

The 2.0T DOHC 16-valve gasoline engine delivers plenty of torque, with a high-compression ratio of 10.5:1. Yet with redline at just 6,500 rpm, power delivery is smooth and relaxed, evident by the 7.5-second acceleration from 37-62 mph in fifth gear.

It bears noting that the 2007 GTI with manual transmission delivers an EPA-estimated 32 miles per gallon in highway driving, and 23 mpg in city driving. All performance numbers improve when the GTI is equipped with the optional, advanced automatic DSG® transmission. The dual-clutch transmission utilizes direct shifting that automatically engages and disengages gears, sans clutch pedal. A computer engages one clutch on the next gear needed, just as it releases the other clutch from the previous gear. The shifts are seamless and happen without the power loss during a traditional, clutched-shift.

Later this year, Launch Control will become standard with the optional DSG. This special automatic transmission programming gets the GTI off the line a little faster, and with a little more "show." With DSG with Launch Control, the programming allows the engine to rev before the first clutch is engaged. The result is a controlled wheel-spin at launch.

The DSG transmission gives drivers a choice of fully-automatic operation, with no further driver involvement necessary beyond selecting "D." The advanced transmission also offers automated manual shifting for drivers who prefer to be more involved in the gear-change process. The DSG with Volkswagen Tiptronic® lets drivers shift gears up and down with a tap of the gearshift selector or finger-operated shift-paddles mounted to the steering wheel.

The 2007 GTI equipped with the optional, advanced DSG transmission charges from 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds. Surprisingly-and pleasantly so-the EPA-estimated fuel efficiency of the GTI with DSG is 31 mpg in highway driving, and 25 mpg in city driving.

Built in Wolfsburg, Germany, the GTI benefits from high-tech production processes found in the hometown of Volkswagen. Industry-leading technology sequencing and robotic assembly help the new GTI record double-digit improvements in dynamic and tensional rigidity-15 percent and 35 percent, respectively-over the previous platform.

The advanced manufacturing process also leads to best-in-class fit and finish, heightened body strength and crash protection, improved driving dynamics, and reduced interior noise-all key components that set the GTI apart from its hatchback competitors.

Known for being a "wolf in sheep's clothing," the exterior design of the GTI is understated but dynamically aggressive, while the interior is practical and functional with driver-focused layout. While the original 1976 GTI interior is often described as classic, the interior of the new, 2007 GTI is also distinct, but with present-day technologies and styles.

For instance, the seats designed for the GTI offer maximum comfort with the best possible side bolsters and sporty looks. Eight-way, manual sport fabric seats are standard with adjustable head restraints in all seating positions. Both front seats also include adjustable lumbar support. On two-door models, both front seats incorporate the Easy Entry System for improved access to the rear seats.

The 2007 GTI has a standard three-spoke steering wheel, with aluminum trim, covered with perforated leather for perfect grip. Aluminum also is highlighted on the gearshift knob, the trim inserts and the pedal cluster. Sporty brushed-metal accents also surround the A/C controls and stereo unit, and the instrument panel gauges are aluminum and black with a chrome surround.

The standard stereo in the GTI includes theft deterrence. The sound system includes a 10-speaker AM/FM radio with in-dash six-disc CD changer with MP3 format readability and satellite radio compatibility for SIRIUS™ radio service. Audiophiles will appreciate the new option of a premium sound system and optional
iPod adapter, as well as the silver-finish radio buttons that replace previous black buttons. Volkswagen has also added an audio auxiliary input and improved the cruise control for more intuitive operation.

Outside, the GTI is distinguishable by its large, black honeycomb grille with a defining red strip outlining the radiator portion. The famous GTI badge sits proudly at the front of the car on the passenger's side.
The honeycomb design of the grille is carried to the lower front fascia with halogen fog lights. Higher up at the hood/fender intersection, the headlight housings incorporate high-intensity gas-discharged headlamps (Xenon). Distinctive bumpers, widened black sill panels and darkened headlight housings all add to the exterior appearance. Low-profile summer performance tires are standard. All-season tires are optionally available.
Large disc brakes are nestled behind each wheel, and are shod with red-painted calipers. Larger 18-inch alloy wheels are an available option.

On the hatch, at the bottom toward the driver's side, is another GTI badge. Twin chrome exhaust tips, a tasteful rear spoiler with an integrated but highly visible rear brake light, a bumper valence, and sophisticated, jewel-like round tail lamps give a sporty flair to the rear of the car.

The GTI is certainly a driver's car as handling precision is achieved using a new electro-mechanical power rack-and-pinion steering system. This solution offers an extremely good "center feel" and contributes to the confident straight-line stability while delivering a desirable, connected-to-the-road feel. At the same time, it provides the added capability of active-return steering and straight-ahead driving correction assistance.
Under the GTI is a fully independent, sports-tuned suspension. While employing the proven independent McPherson strut architecture, the new GTI handling is enhanced by a number of revisions that include a new strut-type axle that helps create a more direct steering ratio and reduces body roll tendency in tight turns.
New architecture for rear running gear includes separate mountings of springs and dampers for improved lower wishbone mounting points and use of twin-sleeve shock absorbers. This advanced multi-link independent rear suspension delivers a better blend of sporty performance and comfortable ride. It also allows for a larger trunk opening and more cargo.

The list of technologically advanced standard safety equipment on the GTI includes next-generation Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP). Driver and front passenger front airbags, driver and front passenger side thorax airbags, and Side Curtain Protection® supplemental restraint systems are all standard.
The GTI is offered with only two option packages. One adds a power sunroof and satellite radio service-compatibility for the standard audio system. The second includes Climatronic™ dual-zone automatic climate control, top-level front sport seats with leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, and heated windshield washer nozzles.

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