VW Golf GTI V
Viseu, Portugal (Wikipedia)
The Golf 5 GTI is hailed as a return-to-form for the progenitor of the genre. The Golf GTI features a 2.0 litre turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine with FSI (Fuel Stratified Injection) direct-injection technology, which produces 200 bhp (150 kW). It is available in both 3-door and 5-door hatchback body shapes, and comes with a choice of either 6-speed manual or a 6-speed DSG gearbox which greatly reduces shift time to only 8ms.
The concept GTI was first shown to the public at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2003. The first production model was initially unveiled at the Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris in September 2004 and went on sale around the world shortly thereafter. At the Los Angeles Auto Show in January 2006 the GTI made its long awaited North American debut in 3-door guise (a 5-door variant has since become available), where it is marketed solely under the 'GTI' moniker, with no reference to the Rabbit.
The new GTI has a considerable price increase over the previous model, mainly due to the features mentioned above and the fact that the exterior itself had not seen such a dramatic design change in years. The price is further raised due to the fact that it is built in Germany, unlike the MK4 which was built in Brazil. The innovative DSG transmission and the 200 bhp (150 kW) engine all helped raise the retail price of the car.
The Mark V GTI named Automobile of the Year by Automobile Magazine, in December 2006. The initial American ad campaign for the GTI featured the "fast", which Volkswagen says is the feeling and force inside you that likes driving and encourages your driving passion, with the tagline "Make friends with your fast". However, recently those ads were replaced with a series of ads starring Peter Stormare as a "German engineer" hired to "un-pimp ze auto" by taking tuner cars and smashing them, giving their owners a GTI instead. The slogan for the campaign is "Pre-tuned by German engineers", however it has been Stormare's lines of "VDub: representing Deutschland!" and "V-Dub: German, engineering, in da haus!", delivered with a stilted German accent and coupled with a "VDub" hand motion, that have popularised the ads.