Under the bonnet beats the same 2.0-liter TSI engine that powers the Scirocco, but VW has managed to squeeze another 7.4kW from it to up the maximum power to 155kW. Torque remains the same at 280Nm though. It takes the GTI 6.9 seconds to sprint to 100km/h (marginally quicker than the Scirocco and GTI Mk5’s 7.2 seconds) but in real life it feels even faster than the stats would have you believe.
It doesn’t tear up the tarmac, that is true, but what the GTI lacks in eye-popping acceleration it makes up for with the accessibility of its power. Push it hard and you can still get the tyres to spin on take-off, but it will never respond with the torque steer and rabid handling of a hardcore hatch like the Focus RS. In general, the GTI approaches performance with significantly more civility – much like the Mk5, only smoother and more refined.
The new engine is more eager from low down in the rev range than before and also feels much punchier than its predecessor. VW has also managed to shave some off the fuel consumption (now 7.3 liter/100km compared to 8.0 liter/100km on the outgoing model) and CO2 emissions (170g/km compared to 189g/km) while pushing the top speed up by 5km/h to make this the fastest GTI ever.