Having spent nearly half a century in constant production, the Volkswagen Golf is an immensely popular and highly-influential hatchback model that first hit the market in 1974, before arriving on U.S. shores almost a decade later in 1983. And with the 2023 model year marking the Golf’s 40th year in America, VW has opted to mark the occasion via a limited run of Volkswagen Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition cars made exclusively for the U.S. market.
Offered with either a six-speed manual gearbox or VW’s seven-speed DSG automatic transmission, the 40th Anniversary Edition Golf is based on the current eighth-generation GTI S trim, though gains a host of upgrades to improve performance, along with a few visual tweaks. This limited edition Mark 8 massively benefits from a cutting-edge suite of driver tech that boasts speed-sensitive steering, electronic stability control, an electronic differential lock, and VW’s DCC adaptive damping system — the latter of which responds to sensors that monitor wheel damping some 200 times per second. Like the regular Golf GTI, this anniversary edition hot hatch is kicked along by VW’s turbocharged EA888 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine which cranks out 241hp and 273ft-lbs of torque.
The Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition is also being sold in four color options including Anniversary Edition-exclusive Tornado Red and Urano Gray liveries. These primary color options are complemented via a gloss black roof, matching gloss black mirror caps, and 19” gloss black multi-spoke alloy wheels with red pinstripes — a wheelset that’s been borrowed from the European Golf GTI Clubsport 45 model. The interior of this daily-drivable sports car also features honeycomb accents, Scalepaper Plaid cloth seats, a sport steering wheel with a “40” badge at the 6 o’clock position, and a golf-ball-inspired shift knob (on the manual transmission model). Additional “40” badging and graphics also adorn the exterior of the car. Performance summer tires and illuminated grille elements round out this limited edition package.
Restricted to only 1,500 units — all of which are earmarked for the American market — the 2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition is slated hit dealerships this winter, with prices starting at $33,055 for manual transmission model and $33,855 for the automatic.