2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI
In 1998, the Mk IV Golf and GTI introduced more rounded styling that department from the heavily-creased look of previous cars. It also lacked the red grille surround that had been a GTI calling card up to that time. Introduced in 2004, the Mk V brought back that red trim so, despite being even more curvaceous than the Mk V, was viewed as a return to form. A standard 200-hp engine and a GTI-first dual-clutch gearbox helped, too.
The GTI continued to get faster and more powerful with the Mk VI (introduced in 2009) and Mk VII (2013) generations. A Clubsport S version of the Mark 7 boasted 310 hp, and briefly held the lap record for front-wheel-drive production cars at the Nürburgring.
The Mk VIII GTI is scheduled to arrive in the U.S. in the second half of 2021 as a 2022 model. It uses EA888 evo4 2.0-liter turbo-four engine, making 243 hp and 273 pound-feet of torque. The car rides on an updated version of the MQB platform used by the current model, with more tech features than before.