This week I’m driving the 2015 Volkswagen GTI – but not for the first time. I had the chance to get behind the wheel of the redesigned GTI this past spring in San Francisco, California, during a full-day extravaganza that included every single member of the Golf line-up (including the battery-powered e-Golf). While the roads were great, I wasn’t able to spend as much time with the hot hatch as I would have liked, which is why I’m now giving it a second go up here in the frozen December wasteland that is Montreal.
The Volkswagen GTI gains 10 horsepower for 2015 (20 if you opt for the Performance Pack option), but the real benefit of the fresh 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is the extra torque. 258 lb-ft adds a smoothness to the GTI that was previously missing, and it also helps the car better handle rivals like the overboosted Ford Focus ST (which still maintains a horsepower and torque advantage over the VW). There’s also a brand new and lighter platform, dubbed MQB, that will find its way underneath a wide variety of vehicles built by the German conglomerate.