The first rolled off the assembly line in 1976. GTI stands for Gran Turismo Injection - a synonym for "motor sport". The sporty version of the Golf was stripped down and caught the spirit of the time.
About 461,000 of them were sold in seven years of production, making the first GTI the most widely sold GTI ever. Its concept is as timely today as it ever was: compact form, front-wheel drive, and lots of power -- and yet civilized behavior.