A million times, probably, people who write about cars have used the mutually coined phrase “hot hatch” to refer to a subcompact with a lot of strapped-on performance credibility. The Volkswagen Golf GTI – remember the first German-language “Little GTI” commercials? – embodied the concept in the early days, arguably more than any other single model. It’s been 40 years since that heady rollout, and Volkswagen is coming out with a very limited Golf edition to make sure we’re all aware of the milestone.
The 2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition is coming to market with just 1,500 copies earmarked for U.S. buyers, about half the cars to be offered with a six-speed manual gearbox and the rest sold with Volkswagen’s seven-speed DSG automatic transmission. Four colors will be offered, including edition-specific Tornado Red and Urano Gray. Nineteen-inch alloy wheels with red accents form another part of the package. The equipment level is essentially based on the GTI S but will add performance summer tires, DCC adaptive shock-absorber control and speed-sensitive power steering. Power continues with the EA888 turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produces 241 horsepower. The MSRPs will get underway at $33,055 when deliveries start midway through the model year.