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The GTI VR6 Is 'The Little Missile That Just Passed You'

As he often does with the cars he reviews, Chris Harris today made me kind of want the new Volkswagen GTI for its do-everything performance and usefulness.

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The GTI has been around for decades, but it's always been kind of hit or miss. Let's hop in the DeLorean and travel back to 1995, when John Davis and the MotorWeek crew sampled a GTI with a new rabbit under its hat: the wonderful narrow-angle 2.8-liter VR6 engine.

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Good for a respectable 172 horsepower, the VR6 shot the hot hatch from zero to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, which, curiously, isn't too far off what the new GTI did in Chris Harris' test.

Just goes to show you: never underestimate a GTI.

MotorWeek Theater is our showcase of some of our favorite classic reviews from public television's finest motoring program. How does this video only have 362 views? GT-I want to go to there!

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DISCUSSION

The VR6 really is a peach of an engine. My 02 GTI 24V VR6 had chip, intake, exhaust, upgraded engine mounts, and upgraded suspension bushings. The thing felt raw and had gobs of torque. The sound was glorious! Too bad the MkIV platform just didn't deal with that much power or weight very well.