Golf GTI, Style Icon
Design website Highsnobiety calls Golf GTI “one of the world’s most celebrated cars.”
Travel back in time 45 years. It was 1976, the year Volkswagen released its sporty performance hatchback. Equipped with a fast and furious, 1.6-litre fuel-injected engine, the Golf GTI was poised to replace the Beetle. The personification of “cool,” it featured checkered seats, a golf-ball gear knob, and the car’s now iconic thin red stripe on the radiator grill.
It was a thing of beauty. Or as Oliver Stallwood puts it, in his recent article on the Golf GTI for Berlin-based design website Highsnobiety, “It was refined, lightweight, capable and subtlety stylish, cocking a rear wheel as it ran rings around the competition and ushering a new era away from traditional macho chest-wig sports cars. Young people looking for a fast set of wheels were now choosing Kraftwerk over Saturday Night Fever.”
The article, titled “Volkswagen’s Golf GTI Is One of the World’s Most Celebrated Cars, Here’s Why,” chronicles the cultural impact of the Golf GTI. Similar to other VW icons—the Beetle, the Type 2 bus—the Golf GTI became a design icon approaching cult status.
Today, the Golf GTI is nearly twice the weight and double the power of the original. Renowned for fusing practicality with performance—at a good price—it turns heads wherever it goes.
“The GTI delivers nearly everything one expects from an automobile with driver-focused flair,” writes Stallwood. “It’s part station wagon, part economy car and a whole lot of fun.”
Read the article here.