The formula is rather simple really. Take the best hatchback in the world, add a class leading turbocharged/direct injected four cylinder and then offer the option of a sweet shifting manual transmission or wave of the future double clutch gearbox. What comes out of this tasty stew is an entertaining and practical ride for the man on a budget or with a family.
What really makes the GTI stand out is that it is not only a solid piece of engineering but also that there is no stylistic frippery. There is no gaudy ornamentation to be found anywhere and the plaid tartan seat fabric is macho in a way not seen since Mel Gibson told his men in Braveheart that They may take our lives, but they will never take our VW GTIs! I may have gotten that last part wrong but check out the seat fabric and tell me it has absolutely no macho allure?
The GTI, sort of like the Ford Mustang before it, started a whole new sub-group of affordable sports cars. Based on basic hardware from bread and butter corporate models, the Mustang and GTI are so special because they are attainable automotive icons. But even beyond this, the VW GTI embodies Teutonic efficiency and simplicity at its zenith. Its also really fun to drive too. And is there any greater qualifier for a guy car?