The Canadian International Auto Show is firing on all cylinders right now. Every year car manufactures come to Toronto to show off some of their latest offerings. Thousands of people and media groups will hit the show floor to see the newsiest offerings and concepts.
Volkswagen had a media event that I was happy to attend. As many of you know I traveled with Volkswagen Canada partially across Canada, during their Cross Canada Tour. It was a great deal of fun, so when they invented me to come see the all new GTI, I was very excited to attend.
The new MK7 GTI is built on Volkswagen’s new MQB platform. This new platform is stronger and lighter than the previous generation. Volkswagen Engineers have also designed to have far less torsion within the frame, that translates into better handling with less body roll and better turn in.
Speaking of turn in, Volkswagen has improved the handling of the vehicle by improving the steering wheel lock. That is the amount of turns of the wheel it takes to go from lock to lock. This means you will have greater control over handling and much better feedback.
The MK7 GTI looks fantastic. There has been so much improved on both the exterior to the interior. Many of criticized the look of the red stripe through the front headlamps. However, this may be because it looks much better in person than in the photos.
The Interior is a huge upgrade. There is piano finish through out the interior, and the new larger navigation screen combined with the full color heads up display is wonderful welcome. The navigation screen is also angled slightly towards the driver for easier access and viewing.
The buttons on the steering wheel are much larger. They are very easy to hit and give a great feedback click when using them. They are much easier to navigate, and prevents you from hitting a button by accident. This is a welcome change, as I can tell you I have accidentally hit my call button several times while reversing my MK6 Golf R.
Power is the real story here. The MK7 GTI comes with a 211 horsepower, now you might be thinking that’s drastically lower than the competition. However, Volkswagen has amped up the torque by 50, providing you with a whopping 250 tq. As most driving enthusiasts will tell you torque is where the fun is. Torque is what gives you that great feeling when the car takes off. To put all this new to power down, Volkswagen for the first time is putting in a LSD. This will help give you better traction and much better handling in the twisty roads. This will be available as part of a performance pack feature with bigger brakes, damping control for suspension and a bump of 10 horsepower.
It really seems like Volkswagen has fully redesigned the hot hatch from top to bottom. I look forward to test driving one soon, so I can find out for myself is this new MK7 GTI the best GTI yet, and how it compares to the MK6 Golf R.