Twenty five years on, and in its fourth generation, the Golf GTI remains as popular as ever. Total UK Golf sales last year exceeded 67,000 units, with GTI models accounting for almost a quarter of these sales.
To celebrate this milestone, Volkswagen has launched the GTI Anniversary. This limited edition model is offered with a choice of two engines – a 1.8-litre 180 bhp petrol and the 1.9-litre 150 bhp TDI PD diesel – and in three colours – Tornado Red, Reflex Silver metallic or Diamond Black pearl effect – combined with red and black ‘Le Mans’ cloth upholstery.
Distinctive styling separates the two thousand, individually numbered Anniversary models from other Golfs. Outside, unique shaped bumpers and widened sills are complemented by 18” BBS alloy wheels, while a roof spoiler, 90 mm chrome exhaust, and distinctive GTI badging reminiscent of the Mk III complete the look.
In the cabin, Recaro sports seats with a GTI logo, aluminium pedals and interior trim are highlighted by red stitching which matches that on the perforated leather steering wheel and the seat belts. A golf ball-shaped gearknob is the crowning feature.
The equipment list is impressive: ABS with EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution) and ESP are standard, along with twin front and side airbags. Climatronic air conditioning, remote central locking with an alarm and a dash-mounted CD autochanger are among the other highlights.
On the road, sports suspension gives a GTI-style ride, while the two engines offer excellent performance. The new 1.8-litre 20 valve uses a light pressure turbo to produce 180 bhp, allowing a sprint to 62 mph in less than eight seconds, along with a top speed of 138 mph.
The diesel uses Volkswagen’s unit injector technology to produce 150 bhp and 236 lbs ft of torque at 1900 rpm. With a similar top speed to the petrol, this model boasts a combined fuel economy figure of 52.3 mpg and CO2 emissions of just 146 g/km. Both engines drive through a six speed gearbox. WPublished 28 October 2002