It’s fair to say some elements of the latest, Mk8 Volkswagen Golf GTI haven’t quite hit the spot. It may be sharper to drive than ever, but it’s also dropped a very sizeable ball when it comes to some of the everyday usability stuff that the hot hatch OG traditionally nailed.
Well, here’s a delightful distraction. It’s a collaboration between Volkswagen in the US and Philadelphia-based VW enthusiast Jamie Orr. We’re told they’ve "worked together on an enthusiast concept that injects a healthy dose of the past into the latest generation", with the Golf GTI BBS Concept the fruits of their labour.
It’s all inspired by the Mk2 Golf GTI – hence the BBS goodness at each corner of the car. Specifically a set of 19in BBS Super RS with the ‘waffle and hex’ pattern we all know and love.
The car is then dropped on H&R coilovers with more assertive camber settings up front. Then there’s a new Borla exhaust, to extract a bit more noise from the 245hp 2.0-litre turbo four up front, and a jazzier livery.
And that’s it. Everything else has been left alone, perhaps at the behest of VW. “We wanted to maintain the soul of the Mk8,” says Orr, “so we went with more traditional modifications. But we left the interior, body, and powertrain exactly as it came from the factory.
“Take those wingback seats, with this striking red design – they are just phenomenal. Changing any of that would have been a shame.”
It looks smart, we reckon. But should VW have loosened the reins a bit more?
STORY Stephen Dobie