Volkswagen Golf GTI (Crowood Autoclassics)

The V W Golf was planned to be a worthy successor to the venerable Beetle, a move that required dynamic thinking and a clean drawing board if Volkswagen was to continue to hold its position as one of the top automobile manufacturers. Where the Golf differed from the crowd was its distinctive body design. for here was the world's first hatchback. When Volkswagen launched the Golf GTI, over thirty years ago, it could hardly have known the impact its compact and sporty model would have on the car-buying public. Through an uncertain birth to its class-topping iconic status of today, rarely does a new model of car make a whole new market segment for itself but the Golf was the original hot hatch, a car that others would copy but seldom equal.