Listen to This Angry MK1 VW Golf Attack a Swiss Hillclimb
This naturally aspirated racer features a high-revving orchestra underneath the hood.
By now, we know how versatile the MK1 Volkswagen Golf is. Everybody understands that is was designed to be the working man's sports car with practicality and fun in mind at a low price point. Past that, the GTI's plug-and-play ability is something that has kept it relevant since its introduction 40 years ago. That theory rings true with the car we see here—a crazily tuned version of a once-road-going unit—that screams into each corner of this Swiss hillclimb. Instead of the normal turbo flutter we usually see at these events, this MK1 has plenty of naturally aspirated throatiness to keep us entertained throughout the five minute clip.
The pilot makes it obvious that this Golf isn't easy to drive. On the outside, you can see the car powerslide through the chicanes while popping onto three wheels in some turns, showing the Vee-Dub's rigidity and racecar underpinnings. The onboard footage shows just how hard Daniel Wittwer has to wheel this thing as he saws back and forth without much room for error. He's cramped for space as most of the car's already-small interior is filled up by a full roll cage, further supporting its go-fast demeanor. All of this harshness combines to make up what is certainly a purpose driven machine.
There's also plenty of speed to match the car's audio. The powerplant is a heavily tweaked 2.0-liter 16-valve lump that can be found in the later MK2 Golf, though we doubt it shares many parts with the production engine. It's mated to a proper sequential gearbox that still translates power to the front wheels, maintaining at least a portion of the GTI's original dynamics.