Volkswagen GTI 40th Anniversary Edition Is The Perfect Affordable Hot Hatch

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VW took all the best go-fast GTI parts and puts them on its cheapest trim.

Volkswagen celebrated a few anniversaries recently. It launched a 20th Anniversary Golf R (which set a Nurburgring record), and then it launched an American version that was missing some of the good bits that Europe got.

That one was a bit of a bummer, seeing as North American buyers are practically saving the manual in both the Golf GTI and R.

So, to make up for it, Volkswagen has announced the Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition, celebrating 40 years of go-faster Golf in North America. And based on the specification sheet, this is undoubtedly the perfect MK8 GTI trim.

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VW offers three trims for the GTI; S, SE, and Autobahn (in ascending order of price and equipment).

This new GTI version borrows the best bits across the lineup and puts them in the cheapest package possible. In other words, the very ethos of the hot hatch segment the GTI arguably started.

VW takes the Autobahn trim's adaptive dampers, adds speed-sensitive steering, and sticky summer tires. It also adds the 19-inch wheels from the European Golf GTI Clubsport 45 to create a truly affordable go-fast Golf. It's a brilliant piece of marketing, and we're not sure why these options aren't available to order as extras on the standard S model.

VW says that only 1,500 units will be offered for the US, so they'll sell out quickly. The split between sticks and DSGs is expected to be 50:50.

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Customers will have a choice of four shades: Urano Grey and Tornado Red are unique to the 40th Anniversary Edition, but VW will also offer Opal White Pearl and Pomelo Yellow Metallic from the existing palette. All come with a black roof, "40" decals along the doors, and an illuminated grille.

Inside, another "40" badge is placed on the bottom of the wheel, and all cars come with the GTI's iconic plaid seats and golf ball-style shifter.

It's just a shame that this particularly attractive mix of the GTI's best performance additions will be limited to a special edition. If you ask us, the GTI should have these items available at any price point.

Speaking of, VW will run you $33,055 for a stick and $33,855 for a DSG-equipped GTI 40th Anniversary Edition.

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