This German-tuned VW Golf GTI thinks it’s a Rolls-Royce

By topgear, 27 May 2021

Hands up who’s ever driven the eighth-generation VW Golf GTI and thought to themselves, ‘hmmm, I wish it had a bit more, well, Rolls-Royce-ness to it’? Nope, us neither. But that hasn’t stopped German tuner Manhart from attempting it anyway.

As part of several, er, ‘specialist’ upgrades to the hot hatch, it’s installed a starry sky headliner, comprised of many, many small LEDs, as similarly available on Rolls’ super-luxe line-up. Shooting for the stars big time, this thing.

Otherwise, it’s much the same as you’d expect from any Manhart treatment. H&R springs lower the car by 40 millimetres, there’s new 19-inch alloys, and a new rear diffuser. Oh, and some additional GTI red stripes, because everyone knows they’re worth an extra 10bhp.

Naturally, there have been actual power upgrades too. Thanks to an engine computer reboot, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine has been boosted to 286bhp and 424Nm, up from 242bhp and 370Nm respectively, for maximum speed through the twisties.

No word from Manhart on how much that improves performance, but presumably a slight improvement on the standard 0-100kph time of 6.2 seconds – as spec’d with the seven-speed DSG ‘box here – for all-important quicker traffic light getaways.

What do we think, internet?