The Volkswagen Golf and its GTI hot-hatch twin might only be six generations old, but the hatchback meant to replace the Beetle is more than 35 years old. That makes it one of the dwindling members of the old-growth forest of car models, standing in the shade of holdouts like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Ford Mustang.

To celebrate its 35th year in the UK, the limey VW reps put all six generations together and ran them around a track. Fair warning, it's short and they didn't wring them out so don't expect the sound and the fury, but if nothing else perhaps a glimpse of that Mk II will inspire stories that begin with "So this one time at band camp..." Follow the jump for the action.



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  • 28 Comments
      Rui Batista
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had an '87. That car survived me, my brother (and a crash into a telephone pole) and then my father drove it for a while. It's unfortunate that every redesign just made the car less special than the version it replaced. Of course I don't miss the door handles; one thief + one screwdriver = all your goodies gone.
      Email
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had the displeasure of owning one. My God what a horrifically unreliable P.O.S. I don't think there was ever a time when 100% of the car was functional.
        Gorgenapper
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Email
        I think reports like these, more than anything else, kept me from buying the GTI when I was looking for a hot hatch.
        kcfenderfan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Email
        I had an '86 Mark II that I bought used in 1987 with less than 10,000 miles on it. It was cool looking, extremely fun to drive and got good gas mileage. It was also the most horrifically screwed together thing I've ever owned. It had transmission problems and dropped the heater core after only owning it about a year. The sunroof enjoyed "eating" the sunroof trim and dragging it back into the roof with it. The paint oxidized horribly. I traded it in on a 1989 Plymouth Sundance that was nowhere near as fun to drive and nowhere near as cool, but that I drove for 80,000 problem free miles.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @kcfenderfan
          [blocked]
          ravenosa
          • 3 Years Ago
          @kcfenderfan
          EVERY friend of mine who's purchased a VW never buys another one again. Always grateful I got to learn from their mistakes...
          TsarBomba
          • 3 Years Ago
          @kcfenderfan
          I still have a 1990 mk2 16v. There are little problems here and there, but i can actually fix them myself. The car still looks and drives like new (garage kept). It still is one of the most enjoyable cars to drive. It is light, nimble, quick, and well connected to the driver. I've had faster and more luxury oriented cars, but there is something about it that pastes a smile on my face everytime i fling it along the backroads. With a little TLC and basic maintenance, these cars can go on for a long time (and yes, the sunroof really does have an appetite for the trim).
      thrutheeyesofbry
      • 3 Years Ago
      I just watched a video of a car get uglier over the generations. Shouldn't it be the other way?
      EuropaCar
      • 3 Years Ago
      just based on the video link picture, good to see that the typical bloat that most cars pick up over the years did not really affect this car too much
      Javanese
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why do they even bother to brought the worst GTi ever, the MkIV.
        Rob Gomes
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Javanese
        The Mark IV GTI was slower from 0 to 60 than a diesel-powered Skoda Octavia. That is... well... rather bad, considering even the most powerful Octavia's at the time of the Mark IV GTI's existence (Mark II 2.0 TDI) were under 140HP (though ~235 lb-ft of torque).
          Georg
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Rob Gomes
          thats wrong Even the 170hp Octavia RS TDI is slower than the Mark IV GTI 0-62mph (100km/h) the old Octavia TDI with 110hp was much slower 0-60mph and abouve 60mph we don┬┤t even need to bother talking, the different 0-100mph = 160km/h ... there the Mark IV GTI beat the old 110hp Octavia with a time gap of 15.6s
        brgtlm
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Javanese
        Yeah the MkIV was pedestrian except for the 20th Anniversary Edition that got the Euro suspension and bits as well as the R32. The rest were German cruisers.
      PMH
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love the GTI. It's all the car you need and more fun than you'd ever expect. It's been overpowered by some but outclassed by none, it's lines aren't sexy but it's silhouette is classic. A GTI will make sure you're only getting laid by someone worth spending a second night with. While the Jetta has been stripped of it's German accent and sent to Mexico, the Golf and GTI continue their education in the Fatherland before leaving finishing school in Wolfsburg to finally spread the good gospel of Fahrvergn├╝gen in faraway lands. Ever GTI deserves to meet a corner that will provoke it's inside rear wheel to tuck up and lift off the ground, every GTI owner deserves the opportunity to enjoy such a moment when it happens
        ravenosa
        • 3 Years Ago
        @PMH
        You don't have to drive a chick car to get chicks, PMH. Hope that helps. Merry Christmas!
          J
          • 3 Years Ago
          @ravenosa
          Only a girlie man worries about what people drive...
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'll take the Mk 1, kthnxbye.
      Dwight Bynum Jr.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Um.. they REALLY couldn't find a 2(3) door Mk VI for this?!
        Chris L
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dwight Bynum Jr.
        I was thinking the same thing. I love my 2 door MKVI. I have a TDI Sportwagen as well (5 door golf wagon) and don't think that a 4 Door GTI would be quite the same.
      Psyclist
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had an 87 GTI 16v, red with the rally wheels...loved that little car till I killed it in an accident, wanted another one ever since
      Jason Parry
      • 3 Years Ago
      they took something as cool as this and made it boring
      S1iver00
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow, and the MK4 wasn't even a VR6 :(
      phishburk
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had an '84 MK1....by far the most fun.
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