Hot hatches traditionally do well in Europe but here in the U.S. don’t fare so well, at least if past trends are anything to go by. That’s unlikely to be the case with the latest 2011 Volkswagen GTI, which comes packing a punchy turbocharged engine, sharp handling characteristics and an optional dual clutch gearbox.
The GTI badge alone gives this car loads of street cred. Standing for Grand Tourer Injection (from Italian Gran Turismo Iniezione), it literally means a touring car with fuel injection, but today it marks Volkswagen’s hottest models currently sold in the U.S.--think of it as being the ‘AMG’ of Volkswagens.
Based on the latest MkVI Golf, the GTI features a relatively conservative design but look a little closer and you’ll definitely not mistake this for your run-of-the-mill Golf hatchback. All GTIs come with an aggressive bodykit, uprated brakes, 18-inch alloy wheels and dual exhaust tips.
Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter...