• Suzuki, Nissan and Peugeot also had GTI-badged models in their model lineups.
• Toyota also had their own GTI model in the form of the Corolla in overseas markets, based on the Conquest and Tazz chassis we have in SA.
• It made use of a 1.6-litre 4AGE engine that produced 92kW and 145Nm.
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It seems as though the GTI badge was not just reserved for the Volkswagen Golf as a number of manufacturers had versions of their own doing the rounds.
Peugeot, Nissan, and Suzuki all have their own unique three-lettered versions, but another automaker also released a GTI, and its body shape is familiar in South Africa.
Toyota has a GTI?
Toyota released the Corolla 1.6-litre GTi back in 1987 to go up against the likes of Peugeot with their 309 GTI, Ford's XR3i and of course, the VW Golf GTI.
It might have been badged as the Corolla in the markets where it sold, but its body shape was that of the Conquest and later Tazz models we have here in South Africa. The only difference was that it had two fewer doors. 'GT-i 16' emblems are found throughout the car, like above the side skirt, the front grille and also infused within the rear window. It drove on a set of 14-inch 'Twincam' wheels - the same wheel fitted to the local Corolla GLI Twincams.
Even though it made use of a smaller engine, it was faster than most of its rivals that had bigger displacement powerplants at the time. Its power came courtesy of a popular engine in the Toyota fraternity - the 4AGE. The one used in the European-spec GTI had a maximum power output of 92kW and 145Nm. The rev-happy four-cylinder engine was also aided by the hatchback's low kerb weight of 1033kg and also made use of a five-speed manual gearbox.
As far as performance figures go, it runs to the 100km/h mark in under nine seconds with a top speed of 195km/h. According to Ultimate Specs, it accelerated from 0-100km/h in 8.5sec.
Have you seen or heard of any other GTI-badged model besides Volkswagen's Golf? Please email us, or share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Staying true to the name
Of course, a car cannot be based on straight line figures entirely. Many drivers praised its agile handling and suspension rigidity in a road test conducted on the car back when it was first launched.
It came with a long list of standard equipment like central locking and electric mirror adjustment, and sold brand-new for £9950.
It slotted alongside the Daihatsu Charade GTi Turbo as the Japanese-made offerings. Still, ultimately many people opted for the popular Golf GTI as the first-generation was such a hit.
The hatchback enjoyed a five-year stint on the production line before it was discontinued in 1992.