The Science Behind What Makes The New VW Golf GTI So Great
As the vehicle that started the hatch craze, the latest Volkswagen GTI has some big shoes to fill. Unlike first-generation analog vehicles that exuded simplicity, Donut Media showcases the technologies that make the latest flagship GTI so great in the latest episode of Bumper to bumper.
It all starts with the car’s intelligent front differential. We’ll spare you the detailed explanation, but that eliminates the front-wheel drive elephant in the room known as torque steering. Long story, because the front axles are of different lengths to accommodate all the necessary FWD components, this leads to an imbalance of the power going to the front wheels, which leads to pulling on the steering wheel.
James May rampages aside, the centerpiece of the differential is that it’s not a binary prop. It can change its locking or opening to optimize performance (yes, technically this is torque vectoring). VW accomplishes this with a computer that can fully lock, open, and lock the differential in just three-tenths of a second to optimize cornering, eliminate steering torque, and crank the car more efficiently.
While automotive purists might lose their lunch on the idea of a DSG gearbox, you don’t have to be told by a mechanical engineer it’s faster than three pedals. It’s not really breakthrough technology, but put the automatic GTI next to a manual and it’ll take off again in a drag race. Even if you think you can shift gears like a Group B rally star, no one can match the DSG’s ability to shift in just 8 milliseconds.
Along with shifting gears and reducing steering torque, the latest vehicle can change its damper settings independently on all four wheels to suit the road surface. It’s nothing revolutionary in the automotive industry, but still very impressive to see on a VW GTI. Regardless of being gilled to the gills with tech, it’s refreshing to see that Volkswagen has kept its ethos of what a car should be.