Volkswagen Golf GTI started the hot hatch trend in the 1970s.
Golf is now in its seventh generation.
Golf GTI will be imported as a CBU.
The five-door version will be preferred.
It might be priced at Rs 40 lakh.
Volkswagen is evaluating the market for the Golf GTI in India. This follows as a result of the Indian government relaxed import rules for cars. Previously, there was a price limit, below which all cars needed homologation in India to be sold. Now, however, as long as the number of units is below 2500 annually, a manufacturer doesn’t need homologation in India to put it on sale – homologation in international markets is good enough. The model can be imported via either the CBU or CKD route.
There is a small but enthusiastic market for small performance cars, as evidenced by the Skoda Octavia RS and to a smaller extent, the VW Polo GT TSI. Models such as this help enhance a brand’s reputation, which was the logic behind VW putting on sale the Polo GTI, which was branded just ‘GTI’ for the Indian market. However, the response for the VW GTI was lukewarm after a good start, and the company believes it may have had to do with the three-door format, which has never been successful here. It is, therefore, considering bringing in only the four-door versions of the Golf GTI, and they will be powered by an updated version of the engine that currently powers the Golf GTI internationally. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine is rated at 255bhp and 350Nm for the regular GTI, and 290bhp and 370Nm for the more performance-focused TCR variant.
The Volkswagen Golf GTI will be a halo model for the brand in India, and at a price of around Rs 40 lakh, will offer a combination of performance and practicality that will no doubt have wide appeal to customers in India.
Credit: Autocar India