The 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI may be a new generational design, but engineers and stylists worked hard to make sure it did not break its historical links to the past. That included to the original “hot hatchback” GTI which was first unveiled at the 1975 Frankfurt Motor Show and was destined to change the pokey perception of small cars forever. You can see the throwback links in the Mk 8 by the no-nonsense yet totally modernized two-box exterior design with its standard LED headlights, the overall lowered stance and ready-to-run nature of its still aggressive presence, the historic red GTI line graphics on the grill, as well as the business-is-for-pleasure layout of the cockpit with its standard Digital Cockpit Pro layout. New sport seats; still with red seams and stitching; echo the shape of the original GTI’s seats, and put you in a perfect position for the thick rimmed 3-spoke steering wheel. The standard short throw 6-speed manual has a dimpled golf-ball inspired shift knob. But to meet the needs of modern times, a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission is available, and both front-drive gearchanges are attached to an energetic 242-horsepower turbocharged inline-4 engine. The essence of the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI is one of those rare things in life that stays the same, yet is fare better.