In the seminal mock documentary, or mock-umentary if you will, Spinal Tap, a heavy-metal band are faced with a two-word review of one of their albums… this week I can do better, with a one-word review of the Volkswagen Golf GTD.
I couldn’t be any more succinct than that, suffice to say I can, and will, say a lot of good things about this cracking car.
Sometimes the level of outrageous fun a car can deliver is enough to get you out of bed in the morning – especially when the engine under the hood is a 2.0TDI putting out 184bhp.
Yes. 184bhp in a Golf. I told you it was mad.
I rarely, if ever, look at the price of a car before I test it, because it tends to cloud my judgement a bit. I may have to extend that rule to checking the colour of the brake calipers too.
I don’t want to get too petrol-heady here, but generally speaking, if you notice brightly coloured chunks of metal hugging the brake discs inside a car’s alloy wheel, it means the brakes have been upgraded to handle some serious stopping power. In the case of this Golf GTD, the bright red calipers were definitely there to do just that.
Looking at the car – it is all pure Golf design, with a delicious, edgy attitude. There’s nothing over-the-top or aggressive about the look, but there are so many details that give away the car’s true pedigree.
You can’t help but notice the air-scoops and honeycomb grille elements at the front, which just scream “DRIVE ME!”. The square elements that nestle inside the frowning headlight clusters are pure class – and don’t even start me on the fog lights recessed behind the air scoops.
So, if you’re happy with the outside, then the interior may very well leave your mad, inner driver completely speechless.
Every point of contact is built to a bulletproof standard – the gearshift (I drove an automatic so my hands remained on the wheel most of the time) is short, with a mix of steel and leather elements – likewise the steering wheel, which also boasts beautiful contrast stitching. It has a three-spoke design, with a flat bottom and plenty of control for phone, music and cruise control at the fingertips.
The pedals have the obligatory stainless steel trim, that just catch the eye of every boy racer.
Chrome accents abound, without over-egging the pudding in any way, but adding very pleasing highlights when they catch the light.
The dash is delightfully uncluttered, with just the right amount of buttons and controls surrounding the navigation screen.
In a car that has the potential to apply a few G-forces to your body, it’s reassuring to feel nicely snug in the seats, without the sensation of being strapped in to the Space Shuttle. And the upholstery is absolutely spot-on, with a Clark cloth interior trim that has a subtle tartan look to it.
There are plenty of GTD specific touches in the car to remind you that this is a special version of the car – but all you really need is the absolutely awesome exhaust note. It cannot be described, you’ll just have to experience it for yourself.
Of course, as with any modern car, there is a wealth of safety and driver assistance features such as Lane Assist lane departure systems, Traffic Sign Recognition, Dynamic Light Assist and Front Assist area monitoring system with city emergency braking function.
The cost of the model I drive, which included quite a few extras, was €40,661.
It’s a lot of money, no question, but this is an awful lot car, and one you will want to keep driving.