March 26, 2012

VW Golf GTi Edition 35

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To us, hot hatches still have to be a little bit sensible – they are often a daily driver, after all – and the Golf just doesn’t quite match up to expectations. Even tickling the throttle on longer journeys we’re lucky to muster anything better than an mpg figure in the high 20s, and even the official combined economy figure suggests 34.9mpg is the best you’re going to get. Save some money then by insuring the car with Keith Michaels’ VW Golf GTi insurance.

Initially we thought that this would be because the Edition 35, like the Golf R, uses the older EA113 engine (you may recognise it from such VWs as the Mk5 Golf GTI) rather than the EA888 of the Mk6 Golf GTI. But the older engine isn’t actually less efficient than its EA888 stablemate if you take into account the increase in power. When we got the (not so) trusty PH calculator out, you see, we realised that the Edition 35’s extra 25hp corresponds to an additional 11.9 per cent in power, for a an increase in fuel consumption of 10.8 per cent. So you could (just about) argue that the Edition 35 is more efficient than the standard car, in terms of an economy-to-performance ratio.

Either way, it got us thinking about what would happen if we put our truly sensible trousers on and plumped for a Golf GTD. We knew the economy would be good, but would it be a convincing substitute for a petrol GTI?

So does GTD equal GTI? It certainly does with the insurance price so please click here for your Golf GTI car insurance.

The power delivery is certainly not the same – a great big slug of torque (in this case 258lb ft between 1,750 and 2,500rpm) and power delivery that’s all done by 4,000rpm or so. But then you expect that of a moderately powerful turbodiesel.

But there’s more to it than that. The whole GTD experience is softer and less focused than the GTI. Partly that’s down to a smaller wheel and tyres package, but mostly it’s down to a more relaxed suspension set-up. both have ‘sports’ suspension, but the Edition 35 is lowered by 22mm, while the GTD is dropped by just 15mm, and the GTD’s set-up is softer accordingly.

Handling differences aside, what makes the Edition 35 feel like a hot hatch – probably more than anything else – is the wide, linear, power delivery. It encourages you to rev it hard, to hold onto gears that bit longer.

No, it’s not the most economical way to propel yourself along, but for those rare moments when it’s just you, your car and an empty road, your hot hatch really needs to be powered by unleaded and not the stuff that comes out of the black pump.

The GTD is a fine car, though, even if calling it a pukka hot hatch is pushing it a bit. Think of it as a Golf version of the 320d, however, and it holds rather a lot of appeal…

Follow this link for performance car insurance.

Many thanks to Pistonheads for the use of the above – full article can be found here.