GOLF GTI 40 YEARS
Slick, quick way to celebrate good times
SINCE it hit its straps in 2004 with the arrival of the MKV, the Volkswagen Golf GTI hasn’t looked back, going on to become to the past decade what the Subaru WRX was to the ’90s.
And if this leaves the valuepacked, quick, fun, comfortable, practical GTI with the same problem the Subie once had – that it’s too common for the individualistic enthusiast – the GTI 40 Years edition might just provide the answer.
The fact alone that 100 manual gearbox versions, due in September, will come as part of the 500-only limited edition run might make it the pick over the $ 2500-cheaper GTI Performance, though you’ll have to be quick. Like, if your order isn’t already in, you might’ve missed out.
Essentially, the 40 Years adds a catalogue of hot bits from the GTI Performance and Golf R – and some new ones – to create a uniquely appealing package.
The GTI’S EA888 turbo-petrol 2.0-litre four-cylinder is treated to a larger ’charger, still with an electronic waste gate that lets the ECU manipulate the boost curve for hard-hitting low-rev response and a sweetly linear top end.
With a boost increase, tuning changes, and an overboost that sees peak power and torque crest 213kw (and 380Nm) for 10 seconds when flat-footed in third through sixth gears, it out-does a Golf R in the power-to-weight stakes, though without AWD, it isn’t officially as quick, at 6.3sec 0-100km/ h.
The rest of the time the 40 Years has 195kw/350nm and a more urgent, fruitier delivery than any other GTI – even the upchange farts, delivered via bigger twin tailpipes, are fuller.
No sticker pack, then, but it does have some to signify its special 40 Years status, along its lower flanks. With Unique ‘Ruby’ 19-inch alloys, a specific front fascia with brake cooling gills, Golf R tail-lights, ts, a new rear bumper with a diffuser, fuser, and a more pronounced two-piece o-piece rear spoiler, it’s a more visually arousing machine than the standard, discreet, GTI.
But for those fond of quiet country roads or track-days, the best bits include big brakes, a mechanically variable steering rack, the electronically controlled multi-plate LSD that keeps torque steer and wheelspin to a minimum, while bringing a delicious, nose-pointing vectoring of torque, and adaptive dampers that provide an adept balance of ride, wheel and body control and a choice of modes.
It all combines to make the GTI 40 Years feel special. It’s a concerted stride closer to a Megane RS, if, ultimately, a step short of the benchmark Renault’s connection, control, involvement and liveability compromises.
Model Volkswagen Golf GTI 40 Years Engine 1984cc 4cyl, dohc, 16v turbo Max power 195kw @ 5350- 6600rpm Max torque 350Nm @ 1700- 5600rpm Transmission 6- speed dual- clutch Kerb weight 1357kg 0-100km/ h 6.3sec ( claimed) Economy 7.1L/ 100km Price $...