2010 Volkswagen GTI: Hey Cousin, Lighten Up
March 07, 2011
After parking the GTI in front of a Lamborghini Gallardo, I realized something rather strange. This German hot hatch and that Italian exotic are somewhat related. Back in 1998, Lamborghini was purchased by Volkswagen through their Audi division. That union brought Lamborghini back from the near-dead via a couple of all-new models (the Murcielago and then Gallardo), after being owned by seemingly disinterested Chrysler and then Indonesian interests.
That orange Gallardo sitting there happens to be the Superleggera ("Super light") model. It has a 570-hp V10 engine, all-wheel drive and a lot of carbon fiber. It weighs just 2,954 pounds -- talk about power to weight! Our GTI, with its turbo four and front-wheel drive, weighs 3,103 pounds. Though I certainly enjoy driving the peppy, comfortable V-dub, it is rather pudgy for a small hatchback. Imagine how much more fun (yes, and expensive) it would be if they offered a 400-pound lighter, enthusiast-focused Superleggera version.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 21,385 miles