Click above for high-res gallery of the Golf GTI Pirelli
The Golf GTI Pirelli is back (but only in the UK right now). Celebrating its arrival after a 25-year absence, the Pirelli-themed Volkswagen hatchback features an enhanced version of the 2.0-liter T-FSI powerplant boosted to 230 PS (about 227 hp). Power is sent to the front wheels through a traditional 6-speed manual, or VW's very nice twin-clutch DSG gearbox. The added 30 horses over the stock VW GTI drops the sprint time to 60 down to just 6.8 seconds and raises the hatchback's maximum speed to 152 mph.
Differentiating itself from the standard GTI, the Pirelli version features a front splitter, side skirts, smoked rear lenses and tinted windows. Of course, it also gets 18-inch 5-spoke aluminum wheels wrapped in, you guessed it, Pirelli P-Zero tires. The Pirelli theme is carried to the interior with custom yellow-stitched sport seats and tire-tread imprints in all four seating positions. With a few added mechanical upgrades, several exterior enhancements, and a lot of interior branding, the GTI Pirelli package appears to be a slick package. That is, assuming you don't tire of it. (Oh, come on, we just had to say that.)
After checking our archives, we noticed that Volkswagen actually previewed the GTI Pirelli at the Wörthersee show last year, and we're happy to report that the spokes on each wheel are still exaggerated versions of the letter 'P'.
THE GOLF GTI PIRELLI RETURNS 25 YEARS AFTER THE ORIGINAL
The iconic Pirelli name is set to make a return to the Golf GTI range exactly 25 years after the original made its debut as the new Volkswagen Golf GTI Pirelli is launched in the UK.
Originally introduced in May 1983 the GTI Pirelli was based on the MkI Golf and featured the distinctive Pirelli 'P' alloy wheels. The vehicle proved to be an instant hit with its planned production run of just 10,500 vehicles selling out within six-months.
For 2008 the GTI Pirelli returns to the UK. Based on the MkV GTI bodyshell the new vehicle features uprated dynamics and aesthetics to distinguish it from the standard car.
At its heart is an enhanced version of the 2.0-litre T-FSI engine with its output raised from the standard 200 PS to 230 PS. Drive is channelled through a choice of six-speed manual or the twin-clutch DSG gearbox. The new GTI Pirelli reduces the standard car's 0-62 mph time of 7.2 seconds to 6.8 seconds while the top speed rises from 146 mph to 152 mph.
As with the original GTI Pirelli the new car features a set of unique alloy wheels. The modest 13-inch wheels fitted to the 1983 car have evolved into a set of five-spoke 18-inch versions fitted, appropriately, with a set of 225/40 R18 Pirelli P-Zero tyres. Body-coloured elements including the front splitter, side skirts and rear bumper are complimented by a set of smoked rear light lenses and tinted rear windows. A unique Pirelli badge mounted on the bootlid further distinguishes the new car which will be available in a choice of three colours – reflex silver, diamond black and blue graphite.
The Pirelli theme continues to the vehicle's interior which features unique half-leather sports seats with tyre-tread imprints set into the seat base and back. Yellow stitching contrasts against the black leather of the seats, sports steering wheel and handbrake.
Despite the focused nature of the vehicle the standard specification remains high. A total of six airbags, 2Zone electronic climate control, a CD stereo system and Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) are all fitted as standard.
The new Golf GTI Pirelli is available to order now with the first vehicles set to arrive in the country in June. Prices will start at £22,555 on-the-road for the three-door model equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox, rising to £24,385 for the five door model fitted with a six-speed DSG gearbox.