Click to view the VW Golf Collectors Edition in hi-res

Remember when the Volkswagen Golf was meant to be an economy car? Well those days may be long gone, if they weren't already, as customers in Europe have demonstrated a willingness to shell out extra for luxury options even on less-than-premium automobiles. To cash in on that demand, European automakers have been scrambling to launch luxury option packages, complete with leather and all the trimmings, like Volkswagen has done with the first special edition of the new sixth-generation Golf.

Called, quite simply, the Collectors Edition, the exclusive new Golf tops the range of trim levels. The exterior is sprayed in an especially dark shade of blue which Volkswagen calls "Moonlight blue pearl effect" with matching grille. The 18-inch "Vancouver" wheels have been given a special high-gloss finish. But it's the interior that has been given the really special treatment, swathed in "Iowa" natural leather with piano-lacquer dash inserts and aluminum kick-plates. The special edition, supervised specifically by design chief Walter de Silva – whose initials adorn the vehicle – is being launched in its German market specification; we wouldn't expect it to make it to the US market any time soon, but you can still check out the press release after the jump and the trio of images in the gallery below.

Related GalleryVolkswagen Golf Collectors Edition

[Source: Volkswagen]

PRESS RELEASE

Golf Collectors Edition – One of a Kind

Golf concept car is equipped with highly exclusive natural leather

Collectors Edition underscores Golf's class-independent image

Wolfsburg, 08 September 2008 - "Trendline", "Comfortline" and "Highline" are the names of the three official equipment lines on the new Golf. Yet there is a fourth version. An unofficial version, since it is not mentioned in any brochure or price list: the "Collectors Edition". It shows how impressively Volkswagen has mastered the art of upgrading. And it underscores how the Golf is right at home in all classes – a car that cuts a good figure just as naturally in its base version as it does in an exclusive individualized top model with a natural leather interior in the style of the finest luxury sedans.

Orchestrated by corporate design chief Walter de Silva and the director of the "Lifestyle & Performance" design group, Friederike Plock-Girmann, the Collectors Edition prototype developed into what is certainly the most exclusive Golf in the history of the model

EXTERIOR OF THE COLLECTORS EDITION

The Collectors Edition concept car was painted in a very dark, very refined blue – "Moonlight blue pearl effect". While the radiator grille of the production Golf was designed in black, here it is presented in the car's color. In the wheels area, new 18-inch "Vancouver" alloy wheels are used. They can also be ordered as an option on the production car, and they were given a high-gloss polish for the Collectors Edition.

INTERIOR OF THE COLLECTORS EDITION

The Collectors Edition is the first Golf in which natural leather is making its appearance. It adorns the seats (lateral supports of seatback, outer sides of seat, center panel and covers), the center armrest and door inserts. Walter de Silva took the natural leather color as the standard in applying a refined brown tone called "IOWA". It is reminiscent of the elegance of hand-crafted Italian shoes. The leather sections of the sport seats – that are as sporty as they are comfortable – are offset by black piping; they are joined together by seams in "Natural brown" color. The seat's outer side panels discreetly sport the embossed letters "WDS" – the initials of the chief designer.

Designers added decorative accents to the interior (including accent strips, surrounds of the air vents) in high-gloss piano lacquer to complement the overall harmony of the black trim. Made entirely of aluminum are the door tread plates embossed with the "Collectors Edition" signature – insignias of a one-of-a-kind car.