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Remember back in May when VW put together a black-wheeled red GTI to commemorate the car's 30th anniversary? That machine was simply one-off design study prepared by Volkswagen Individual. Now, five months later, VW has released the details on the production version.

Last evening brought word that there will indeed be a production version of this 30th Anniversary GTI. Now, those of you reading this and rolling your eyes at yet another special edition from Volkswagen take note: this is no garden-variety GTI. You see, like the Edition 30 study, the production car has a pumped-up version of the 2.0 FSI lurking under the bonnet. Eschewing traditional birthday candles, Volkswagen elected to instead add 1 horsepower for every year since the introduction of the original GTI. That means the 2.0 FSI hiding under the bonnet now delivers a healthy 230 horsepower to the front wheels, as opposed to the standard car's 200. That's enough to earn the Edition 30 bragging rights as the most powerful GTI ever. Buyers can select between a six-speed manual or a DSG transmission to wrangle the increased power.

Available in three- and five-door body styles, the Edition 30 receives a subdued body kit that incorporates a new chin spoiler, side skirts and rear bumper. The car's 18" "Pescara" wheels look worlds better than the black painted GTI wheels the design study featured, which were seriously ugly. The Pescaras are exclusive to the Edition 30, and are the most obvious exterior tip-off that this is no standard GTI.

Open the door and you'll immediately notice the seats, whose primary surfaces are covered in "interlagos" plaid. The bolsters and headrests, however, are trimmed in leather. In another nod to the original GTI, the shifter grips for both available trannys get the puckered "golf ball" texture. Plates in the doorsills announce that the car is an anniversary model, and the leather hide covering the steering wheel is accented with red stitching.

So far, the only market we can confirm the GTI Edition 30 for is the UK (that's the press release we're reporting on), but since the car in the photos is LHD, we expect to see it become available throughout Europe as well. As for the US? Unknown at this time. Watch this space for updates.

Returning to what we know for a fact: 1,500 will be built, and the pricing comes in at £22,000 for the 3-door and £22,500 for the 5-door. Want DSG? Tack on another £1,300. It arrives in January.

(Additional photos after the jump)

[Source: VW]

GTI Edition 30:
VW GTI Edition 30 Interior
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PRESS RELEASE:
GOLF GTI CELEBRATES 30TH ANNIVERSARY WITH LIMITED EDITION MODEL

The fastest and most powerful production Golf GTI yet is set to kick off celebrations as 2007 marks the 30th anniversary of the original hot hatch – the Mk1 Golf GTI. Despite three decades having passed since the defining GTI was conceived, the spirit of the original is still very much alive in the new Golf GTI Edition 30.

At its heart is an uprated version of the 2.0-litre, ultra-responsive four-cylinder T-FSI engine fitted to the standard GTI. The result is 230 PS – a rise of 30 PS over the standard car. This is mated to a choice of six-speed manual or sequential DSG gearboxes channelling drive through the front wheels.

The new Golf GTI Edition 30 will sprint to 62 mph in only 6.8 seconds (6.6 secs when equipped with DSG) before reaching a maximum of 150 mph.

Joining the dynamic tweaks is a fresh new look for the GTI Edition 30. New body-coloured side skirts are paired with a new chin spoiler for the front bumper and a body-coloured rear bumper. A subtle 'GTI' badge sits on the bootlid below tinted rear lights. Completing the look are a set of unique 18-inch 'Pescara' alloy wheels.

Inside, the GTI Edition 30 benefits from unique sports seats finished in 'Interlagos' cloth trim and completed with leather side bolsters and headrest. The distinctive golf ball gear knob synonymous with the Mk1 GTI also makes a welcome comeback. Elsewhere silver sill plates featuring a unique 'Edition 30' logo are joined by the sculpted leather GTI steering wheel complete with red stitching.

Equipment levels for the Edition 30, as on the standard GTI, are high, with ABS, ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme), six airbags, radio/CD player, 2Zone electronic climate control and twin chrome exhaust tailpipes all featured.

Just 1,500 examples of the GTI Edition 30 will be available from early January with a range of six paint colours ranging from Candy White to the searing Tornado Red. Prices for the anniversary model start at just over £22,000 for the three-door model, with a £1,330 premium for the DSG-equipped car. The GTI Edition 30 is also available with five doors for an additional £500.

The right hand drive Mk1 Golf GTI – developing a modest 112 bhp – went on sale in the UK in 1977. At the time Leo Sayer was at number one, Star Wars gripped a generation of kids, Concorde was about to take flight for the first time and Volkswagen's new GTI cost £5,217. The Golf GTI, with its mix of a low kerb weight and a fast-revving four-cylinder engine, sharpened suspension and subtly aggressive looks, became an instant hit. By the time the Mk1 GTI was phased out in 1984 over 19,500 examples had been sold in the UK.

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