Curves of a Different Kind - 2010 Volkswagen GTI Long-Term Road Test

2010 Volkswagen GTI Long-Term Road Test

2010 Volkswagen GTI: Curves of a Different Kind

November 30, 2010


My adoration for our GTI continues unchecked -- especially when I compare it to the Mazdaspeed 3. The Mazda has a significant turbo hit that, when combined with its considerable torque steer, makes it difficult to drive smoothly. The GTI, on the other hand, has a much gentler ramp up to the turbo and no torque steer to speak of.

This morning, I fired up Dynolicious on my iPhone to try to get a graphical representation of how the throttle feels when the turbo starts breathing. I wasn't heavy on the accelerator, just about the same application as I'd use when passing someone from about 30 mph.

There's a slight pause just after rolling onto the pedal, followed by an authoritative, but smooth rush of power. You can see it represented in the circled section in the graph I pulled from my iPhone. There's just a gentle little step in longitudinal Gs (shown in blue), but the horsepower (yellow) climbs quick and linear. I never got around to trying this in the Mazda, but I suspect it isn't anywhere as straight as the GTI. My intuition says the Mazdaspeed 3 will have a short and fairly tame climb followed immediately by a spike in power.

The GTI is definitely my type of car. Smooth power delivery translates to smooth driving. And smooth driving means quicker lap times. I can concentrate on adding just the right amount of power, rather than brace myself for a sharp hit of turbo kick.

Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor @ 16,505 miles

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