2023 Volkswagen Golf Celebrates 40 Years of GTI with Anniversary Edition
Volkswagen’s GTI moniker first hit the United States in 1983 on the Rabbit hatchback, and has since evolved into a time-tested acronym for the brand’s hottest hatches. The importance of the badge hasn’t been lost on VW, which now celebrates 40 years of stateside GTI with a special anniversary Golf for 2023.
The Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition does just that, set to go on sale mid-model year. Only 1,500 units will be offered for the consumer public, starting at $33,055 before destination.
That is for a manual-equipped model, of which roughly half the 40th Anniversary editions will be. The others will ditch the third pedal and gain a seventh gear in the form of a DSG automatic transmission. In either case, the gearbox meshes with VW’s turbocharged EA888 2.0-liter engine, creating 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough to qualify it as a hot hatch, sure, though further credence is given by way of various suspension components. Specifically, electronic stability control and an electronic differential lock, paired up with the standard DCC adaptive damping system, reacting 200 times a second on each individual wheel.
The Anniversary Edition builds off of the GTI S trim, with some performance and appearance enhancements. Along with the aforementioned DCC damping, speed-sensitive steering further connects the driver to the vehicle; connecting vehicle to road is a set of 235/35 summer performance tires. Rubber wraps special 19-inch gloss black wheels borrowed from the European Golf GTI Clubsport 45.
The dark wheel finish is complemented by the matching gloss black roof and mirror caps. They contrast one of four exterior colors: Tornado Red, Opal White Pearl, Pomelo Yellow Metallic, and the edition-exclusive Urano Grey. The grille is illuminated and features the now-classic GTI red stripe. Further signifying this model’s speciality are the bespoke honeycomb “40” decals running along the sides.
This “40” theme is woven into the cabin rather subtly. VW opted for a “40” clasp at the steering wheel’s six o’clock. Traditional honeycomb accents and Scalepaper Plaid cloth seats might take you back to any GTI memories you’ve made in the last four decades, and the golf ball inspired shift knob will remind manual-equipped owners that… Well, they’re driving a Golf.
As stated, expect the 2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition to start at $33,055 before destination for the manual model, followed by the automatic model at $33,855, available mid-model year.
2023 Volkswagen Golf R 20th Anniversary Edition
Prospective Golf-ers may also be interested in the Golf R 20th Anniversary Edition, on sale this fall. We had a chance to put this R-rated hot hatch through the back nine at Roebling Road Raceway, and it left us rather impressed.