This week we’re behind the wheel of Volkswagen’s Golf GTI Performance. There’s more to the ‘Performance’ tag then a name on this GTI. Apart from the additional ten horsepower increase the Performance variant comes equipped with immense 340 x 30mm front brake discs which are internally-ventilated and an advanced XDS+ vehicle dynamic function and electronic front differential lock. By far the most impressive feature is the front differential lock, in order to really feel it working we took the GTI for a few laps of Mondello Park’s National Circuit.
You can really feel the front differential functioning as soon as you increase the throttle mid-corner and continue through the exit. It allows you get on the power earlier preventing loss of traction and wheelspin. The laptime speaks for itself as to the positive effect this has on the car’s handling. We subjected the GTI Performance to the same rules as all other cars on our Hotlap Chart, this is one warm-up lap followed by two timed laps. The Golf GTI Performance achieved an impressive laptime of 1:07.46 which places it in second place overall on our leader board. It just creeps ahead of the agile Renaultsport Megane Trophy which has sat safely in second place for a long time now. The MINI John Cooper Works (JCW) GP is still the fastest hot hatch, although it’s laptime was certainly aided by running on semi-slick road legal track day tyres.
The Golf GTI Performance’s laptime is some two seconds faster then the mark VI Golf R, the mark VII Golf R has 300hp and all-wheel-drive, so it will be interesting to see if it can top the GTI’s laptime. Another hot hatch sure to put the GTI under pressure is the all-new SEAT Leon Cupra which we will be testing in the coming weeks.
You can view a video clip of our lap below, (Please note this video is comprised of footage from different laps to compile into one, so the laptime will not be our timed lap).