35 years of the Golf GTI! Volkswagen is celebrating the anniversary of this icon with the new Golf GTI Edition 35. With 173 kW of power (18 kW more than the normal GTI), acceleration from 0 to 100km/h in 6.6 seconds and special looks, this special edition GTI will be a collector’s item from day one.

Back in the summer of 1976 – when the very first production GTI was launched – no one ever would have surmised what Volkswagen had just unleashed. Some things simply cannot be planned – icons included. And so the first Golf GTI surprised everyone: buyers, competitors, the carmaker and all those drivers of other sports cars who had never heard of such a thing from Volkswagen, but were now being passed by it on the open road. Since then, the GTI advanced to become the most successful compact sports car in automotive history. 5,000 GTIs were planned – yet the GTI of our day is now approaching the production milestone of two million units.

The new Golf GTI Edition 35 is proving the awesome potential of this automobile. As always, it has front-wheel drive and offers superior traction thanks to its XDL extended electronic differential lock. The Volkswagen converts its maximum torque of 300 Newton metres (2,400 to 5,200 rpm) into forward propulsion. After just 6.6 seconds, the Golf GTI Edition 35 passes the 100 km/h mark. No other GTI before it has been this dynamic. An optional 6-speed DSG can shift gears in a fraction of a second.

Exterior of the Golf GTI Edition 35 in detail
For the past 35 years, Volkswagen has been developing its Golf GTI icon in careful steps, refining its shape like a diamond, making its forms more precise, perfecting its handling, and making its engine performance more dynamic. The GTI Edition 35 is no exception.

Visually, the GTI Edition 35 can be recognised by its new bumper design in front, which is equipped with bi-xenon headlights with dynamic cornering and LED daytime running lights. The car’s aerodynamics were improved by winglets (air flow surfaces) positioned at lower outboard areas in front, and the mid-section of the front spoiler was kept in black. On the car’s sides, it is the glossy black mirror housings, side sill extensions in body colour and the ‘35’edition badge on the front wings that identify the anniversary model. All Golf GTI Edition 35 cars are also equipped with smoked LED rear lights, an LED-illuminated license plate at the rear and smoked rear windows. In Australia, the Golf GTI Edition 35 will only be available in a five-door body style.

In addition, Volkswagen has developed new, standard 18-inch “Watkins Glen” alloy wheels for the Golf GTI Edition 35 (named after a US racetrack in the state of New York). The wheels, fitted with 225/40 R18 tyres, are available in one light-coloured version (“Silver”) and can be ordered in one dark-coloured version (“Grey Metallic”) as an option. The five spokes on this wheel are painted black, while the rim itself is machine-polished.

White, red, black and grey have been classic GTI colours for 35 years. Naturally, they are also offered on the GTI Edition 35. To be specific, Volkswagen Australia is offering this Golf in two gloss colours “Candy White” and “Tornado Red”, one metallic paint”Carbon Steel Grey” and in the pearl effect “Deep Black”.

Interior of the Golf GTI Edition 35
The interior was customised with the gear shift grip in the classic golf ball look of the first generation GTI, new decorative strips in the cockpit area and the door trim panels (“Black Array” type), special door sill plates with worked-in ‘35’logo, safety belts with red stripes and a ‘35’ integrated in the front head restraints of the top sport seats (“Jacky” style). As an option, customers can choose “Vienna” leather appointed seat upholstery in “Titan Black” combined with active-breathing microfibres (likewise black) for the centre seat panels.

The ‘35’ logo appears on the backs of the seats, and all decorative seams of this seat design are in “Flash Red”. Also always in red: decorative seams around the three spoke sport steering wheel, the hand brake and gear shift trim as well as the borders of the f loor mats.

The engine of the Golf GTI Edition 35
With 173 kW of power (+18 kW compared to Golf GTI) and maximum torque of 300 Nm (+20 Nm), the Golf GTI Edition 35 delivers impressive performance by any measure. Its acceleration is the usual statistical measures, but much more important and typical of this GTI is its relentless torque. Acoustically, the GTI already has a full sporty sound, but new tuning of the sound actuator makes it even sportier in this special edition.

1,984 cm3 displacement. The engine employed in the Golf GTI Edition 35 is a turbocharged petrol direct-injection engine of the EA113 engine series. This engine series is also found in the allwheel drive Golf R. The two vehicles share the same base engine. The 2.0 litre four-cylinder engine builds up its propulsive power via a turbocharger with intercooling.

The GTI engine is controlled by a fully electronic engine management system. The engine’s pistons are equipped with reinforced gudgeon pins. The connecting rod was also designed with greater strength, so that it can reliably transfer high torque to the crankshaft. The cylinder block was reinforced to handle the extremely high engine forces that occur.

Despite all of its dynamic performance, the Golf GTI Edition 35 is also very fuel efficient, offering a respectable combined fuel consumption of 8.3 litres per 100 km with a manual gearbox.

In the DSG version, these two values are improved to 8.2 litres per 100 km.

Power transmission in the Golf GTI Edition 35
The engine’s power is transferred via either a manual 6-speed gearbox or an optional 6-speed DSG transmission. For 35 years, the GTI has been driven via the front axle. The standard XDL extended electronic differential lock ensures that the rubber remains on the tyres and does not end up on the street. Moreover, XDL significantly improves handling properties. As soon as the electronics detect that the front wheel at the inside of the bend is excessively unloaded during fast driving, the ESP hydraulics build up braking pressure at this wheel to restore optimal traction. That is, XDL acts as a transverse differential lock that compensates for the typical understeering of front-wheel drive vehicles during quick cornering. This results in more precise and neutral driving behaviour.

Running gear of the Golf GTI Edition 35
Like all GTIs, the Edition 35 is equipped with a sport chassis; the body sits 15 mm lower than on a conventional Golf. Working in front is the familiar MacPherson suspension with helical springs and telescoping dampers. At the rear, the multi-link suspension ensures that the ESP system seldom needs to be activated. The Volkswagen’s four disc brakes are also extremely durable and strong: braked from 100 km/h, the Golf GTI Edition 35 reaches a standstill after about 35 metres.

The Golf GTI Edition 35 is a very limited offering. Pricing starts at $43,490 for Golf GTI Edition 35 with 6-speed manual transmission and from $45,990 for Golf GTI Edition 35 with 6-speed DSG transmission.

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