At this point, it’s easy to take the Volkswagen GTI’s existence for granted — with Japanese, domestic and other German hatches with a more sizzling pedigree, the GTI almost gets lost in the mix. Of course, it’s still one of the most competent front-drive sports cars on the market, despite having less power than the Ford Focus ST and the Honda Civic Type R.
As Donut Media shows in the above video, that wasn’t always the case for Volkswagen’s hot hatch. While searching for a way to discontinue the long-in-the-tooth Beetle, Volkswagen developed a new small car with modern, for the day, styling. That car was the Volkswagen Golf, or Rabbit as we got stateside. Then, a small team inside VW developed the performance version — the GTI.
The rest? Well, you’ll have to check out the video above. Like the history lesson on Nissan’s Skyline, the Golf’s story doesn’t disappoint.