Volkswagen said it was going to offer a GTI 40th Anniversary Edition model when it revealed what was new for the 2023 model year, and now we finally get to see it.
This special model marks 40 years of the GTI in the U.S. (not the world), and it’s an exclusive model for our market. The package is sure to appeal to enthusiasts who want all the performance options in an intriguing visual package. It starts with the basic S trim, but adds the DCC adaptive dampers, speed-sensitive steering, unique 19-inch wheels and summer performance tires usually reserved for the top-of-the-line Autobahn trim. It also starts at $34,150 for the manual, which is thousands cheaper than the $40,000+ Autobahn trim. If all you want is performance and appearance, this Anniversary Edition model looks like a sweet deal.
The appearance package put together by VW is a neat one. Two exclusive paint colors are available, including Tornado Red (pictured) and Urano Grey. Also optional (but not exclusive to the model) are Opal White Pearl and Pomelo Yellow Metallic. All the Anniversary Edition models will have black roofs with black mirror caps. Decals on the door sills feature a honeycomb design and “40” to note it as the Anniversary Edition. Those 19-inch wheels we mentioned earlier are the same as you’ll see on the European-spec GTIs, and they also feature a red pinstripe accent around the outer rim.
On the inside, you’ll get a “40” clasp at the bottom center of the steering wheel. Plaid seats come standard, and if you get the manual, you’ll get a golf-ball inspired shift knob instead of the new square knob on the regular GTIs. The DSG-equipped models — priced at $35,950 — have the same shifter that looks like a beard trimmer.
Volkswagen says it plans to sell approximately 1,500 units of the 40th Anniversary Edition car. It will go on sale at some point mid-model year.