When the Golf GTI first appeared on the scene in 1976, it was a small sensation. Even though only a few details distinguished it visually from the original Golf, it soon became clear that this car was something completely new and unique. After all, behind the understated exterior was a real racing machine – powered by a new, nippy 100bhp engine.
The Golf GTI captured the mood of the era. Volkswagen had succeeded in transforming a compact car into a sports car that nonetheless remained affordable and proved its worth as an everyday runabout.