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VW Golf GTI: First drive report

Another first drive report with the new VW Golf GTI.

There was something perfectly right about the first GTI, which was introduced to the European market in 1976. This sporty version of the Golf hatchback was powered by a 1.6-liter engine that delivered 108 horsepower — a modest number by today’s standards. Even so, it created a sensation back then and a new vehicle segment. U.S. enthusiasts had to wait until the 1983 model year for the GTI to land on this side of the pond. It was powered by a “federalized” 1.8-liter engine that developed 90 horsepower. Again, it was a hit.

Fast-forward more than a quarter-century as VW introduces a sixth-generation GTI. This new iteration of the archetypal pocket rocket has been subtly redesigned, with shrewd attention to quietness and traditional GTI cues. Gen 6 nonetheless makes strides in handling and performance, with a slightly more potent version of the brilliant 2.0-liter turbo engine. What the 2010 GTI lacks in outright muscle it more than makes up in balance, quality, refinement and ultimate poise.

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Source: MSN Autos