Time truly does fly when you’re having fun, and it’s hard to believe the legendary Golf GTI is now in their seventh iteration, set to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2016.
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The GTI timeline can also read similar to a description of the way cars generally have evolved to address safety and emissions legislation, as well as the demands of increasingly sophisticated buyers with increasingly more lifestyle-led requirements. So where the original weighed just 1,852 pounds, its successor tips the scales at 3,020 pounds-a 39 percent increase. Not simply is the new Golf physically much larger but, as with all modern cars, it’s also laden with safety and conveniencetorque and power but with better economy and lower emissions is actually a modern trick enabled by electronics. Some rudimentary electronics in early GTIs controlled the ignition, but the ECU of today’s average family car is far more powerful than the room-sized super-computers that sent man to the moon in the 1960s. Directing anything from direct fuel injection, ignition curves, and active suspension damping, a number of these microchips are employed in a closed-loop system. What this means is having to know exactly what happens whenever parameters of merely one aspect are altered due toAudi and VW (the previous at official DTM race team level), and so it’s one of the few aftermarket tuning houses with direct access to information through the factory development department. Abt’s enhanced outputs are relatively restrained and take longevity into account-along with OE and Abt full vehicle warranties, because of this close co-operation. In this way, Abt upgrades for the GTI are an almost classic case of conservative tuning.
2015 VW GTI dark controlstwice the horsepower and more than double the torque of the original GTI of 1976, whose 1,588cc SOHC engine made 110 hp and 103 lb-ft. With the Performance Pack, the GTI hits 220 hp between 4,6 and 700,200 rpm (torque remains the same). This delivers a brisk zero-to-62-mph period of 6.4 seconds, as well as auses a remapped ECU to match the factory R version now produces 300 hp between 5,000 and 6,200 rpm, with a lusty 310 lb-ft of torque from 1,500 to 4,600 rpm. This 30 percent increase in power and 20 percent increase in torque was engineered while heeding factory guidance on safe tolerances for mechanical components, particularly the DSG transmission.
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Having said that, these hikes are sufficient to make a sufficient difference to the way the car drives that belies the stopwatch numbers. So, even though the zero-to-62-mph sprint is reduced to 5.8 seconds and top speed goes up to 160.3 mph, the real gains in everyday driving happen to be in the low and middle ranges, where that extra torque brings improved driveability.torque and power curves of the stock versus tuned cars, it’s immediately apparent that the outputs of the Abt-tuned motor mirror the standard curves, just in a higher level. Some tuners ramp up the torque of the lower rev range in particular (which can be easy related to a forced induction motor), but this puts extra load around the drivetrain. Maintaining the factory characteristics gives more of everything at a given engine speed, but with the level of smooth and seamless delivery for which GTI is renowned.It is possible to fit a high-efficiency replacement and even reduce boost pressure to achieve the same outputs with less thermal stress, though all this is achieved with the standard intercooler. But this would are more expensive. Of course, a customer could accomplish this as an individual modification. Though, the conversion kit is fully type-approved by the German TÜV authorities like a dealer-fitted bolt-on with carbon dioxide emissions of 149 g/km being identical to the typical car, as it stands.
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Driving Abt’s GTI on country roads and also at higher speeds along the local autobahn, the ability and torque increases lead to an even more enjoyable experience. Any additional punch for overtaking or simply just joining the autobahn is incredibly useful. And thanks to a clever factory electronic differential, this extra clout does not induce any of the wheelspin or torque steer histrionics that afflict so many front-drive cars.
Ah, front-wheel drive. Unlike the factory Golf R (whose 300hp power output this car mirrors), the Abt car lacks the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. And that’s why it’s .8 of your second slower to 62 mph. Ultimately, there’s no substitute for putting big horsepower through each of the wheels for perfect traction off the line.
In its ECU re-mapping, Abt also takes variable fuel quality into account. So those who live in a country where it is hot and/or has poor fuel quality, the sensors will retard the ignition timing to protect the engine. At least the motor will be safe, though of course, power output will likely be reduced commensurately.
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Applied to an ordinary GTI, this is a great conversion, but Abt Sportsline will not hide its proverbial light under a bushel, so it decided to do something different for the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, where this particular car made its international debut.
The special theme this is actually the Dark Edition, a limited edition of 50 cars featuring metallic black paintwork with color-coded 9×20-inch ET40 wheels wearing 235/30 Continental SportContact 3 tires, sports suspension, Abt Sportsline aero kit, plus the 300hp power upgrade with a four-exit sports exhaust system.
Abt’s proprietary aerodynamic styling kit consists of grille, front spoiler, headlight covers, side skirts, rear valance insert, rear hatch roof spoiler, carbon-look mirror caps, darkened taillights, and Abt decal set. Contrasting red accents may also be applied to highlight the shapes of the aero wheels and kit.
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The height-adjustable sports suspension is designed for Abt by KW from the company’s DDC range, specifically tailored for cars with adaptive damping like the GTI. It features a button fitted to the dash that alters settings amongComfort and Sport, and Sport Plus. In this car, it’s set up to ride 1.4 inches lower than the factory height. Abt also supplements the uprated spring and damper kit with larger-diameter antiroll bars.
The amount of compliance in Comfort mode may come as a pleasant surprise, at least on German roads, even though the coilovers and the 20-inch wheels making use of their ultra-low-profile rubber seem like the perfect recipe for a rock-hard ride. 20-inch wheels in places with less well-maintained roads certainly are a potentially expensive mix, however.like a foxhound, while still retaining a fair way of measuring comfort for that inevitable imperfections of real-world roads. The Sport Plus setting, on the other hand, might as well be called the Hockenheim setting, only doing its best work on billiard table-smooth tarmac. Overall, the Sport setting is the best compromise for a twisty road. The mixture of potent motor, quick steering, perfectly tuned suspension, and the lower mass from the MkVII (154 pounds lighter than its predecessor) delivers rapid point-to-point times with deceptive ease.
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The cabin already wears a red and black GTI plaid cloth seat trim theme in the factory, therefore the finishing touch is a set of Abt Sportsline mats in black with red piping and also the word Dark in red. Beyond that, the Abt logo is stitched in white into Alcantara-covered headrests.