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Initially it came in the body of the Golf II, but unchanged with the 82 kW (112 hp) 1.8-liter four-cylinder. With 14 centimeters more length, it has increased its family suitability, but with a 100 kg increase in curb weight, its sportiness has suffered somewhat.

So it was really logical that the sixteen-valve engine was introduced a year later. This brought it to 102 kW (139 hp), enabling acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 208 km/h.

It could be recognized by large red 16V badges at the front and rear. It was also adorned with a larger front spoiler with corresponding air inlets and a double-pipe exhaust. In 1990 the engine was charged with a new type of spiral charger (charger G) and now produced 118 kW (160 hp).

The forced ventilation significantly increased the torque to 225 Nm at 3500 rpm. Acceleration was shortened by a further 0.2 seconds and the top speed increased to 216 km/h. It was the first Golf model with ABS. The era of the Golf II GTI finally ended in 1991.

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