THE VW GOLF GTI IS 40 YEARS OLD, AND OF COURSE THAT DESERVES AN ANNIVERSARY EDITION.
With Volkswagen’s GTi being THE hot hatch for the ages, it makes perfect sense that the nameplate’s long history would see the creation of some special edition models. There are actually quite a few of them that were brought out for all sorts of reasons, some country-specific and in many cases even dealer-specific. In and amongst all of these we find some that are a little more special than others, and those are the cars that fall on the bigger anniversaries. In the US a still sought-after GTi is the 20th Anniversary Edition that came out back in 2003 that was limited to 4000 units, and with models fetching good money there’s bound to be a renewed interest in them thanks the newest special anniversary edition to see the light of day - none other than the 40th Anniversary Edition. To make the special occasion the chaps at Volkswagen put together a Mk8 GTi with a few changes to details to make it slightly different but desirable to VW fanatics.
On the OG 20th anniversary edition the changes to the Mk4 GTi included a GTi emblem added to the front grille (in many markets the Mk4 didn’t get a grille badge, unlike other models), a red GTi badge on the rear with an added shiny Rabbit logo, a subtle body kit, darker headlights and taillights, a bit of a suspension drop, bigger brakes, a tweaked interior with red GTi-badging, a black roof lining, a series number plaque and a teeny power bump to 134 kw (180 hp). For this 20-year newer version the changes to the Mk8 GTi includes honeycomb-style decals featuring a ‘40’, an illuminated grille, gloss black multi-spoke 19-inch wheels, a “40” clasp at the base of the steering wheel, Scalepaper Plaid cloth seats, and a golf-ball inspired manual shift knob that will no doubt soon be retrofitted in all manner of GTi.
This limited number GTi sees fitment of the same powerplant as usual, a 180 kW turbocharged 4-pot, buty over and above the 7-speed DSG transmission the anniversary Golf can be had in 6-speed manual. The car is available in Urano Grey, a colour unique to the 40th Anniversary Edition, along with the choice of classic Tornado Red, Opal White Pearl and Pomelo Yellow Metallic all with an Anniversary Edition-exclusive black painted roof combined with gloss black mirror caps. It looks like 1 500 units will be headed Stateside, there’s no word of it in other countries yet but you can surely count SA out of the delivery list considering the Mk8 Golf R is 2-years old and still hasn’t been seen on showroom floors.
Take a look at the YouTube video where VW brand ambassador and all round odd chap takes a look at the latest anniversary edition Mk8 Golf GTi during one of his trips to Wolfsburg: 2023 VW Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition! I went to Wolfsburg DE to say it’s coming to the USA ;-) | Jamie Orr
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