Volkswagen preparing special Golf GTI to celebrate big birthday

The Volkswagen Golf GTI is in line for a new special edition, due to be revealed later this month.

In a post on LinkedIn, Volkswagen Group CEO Thomas Schäfer uploaded a short video which included footage of the Golf GTI at the Nürburgring and a confirmed unveiling date: 12:30am on June 1, Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).

Despite Volkswagen deliberately obscuring the Golf GTI in the video, we can see its front bumper has been altered to include two fang-like elements on either side of the radiator inlet, completely different from that on the upcoming facelifted ‘Mk8.5’ model.

Given the inclusion of references to the Golf’s 50th anniversary – which occurred on March 29 – it’s likely this special edition is intended to celebrate the nameplate’s half-century in production. 

Volkswagen has previously made an effort to celebrate certain Golf production anniversaries.

The Mk3 Golf 20th Anniversary GTI of 1996 celebrated two decades of Golf GTI production – rather than the wider nameplate – which continued for the GTI 25th Anniversary Edition (2001, Mk4), the GTI Edition 30 (2006, Mk5), the GTI Edition 35 (2011, Mk6) and the Golf GTI Clubsport 45 (2021, Mk7.5).

While the latter was never sold in Australia, local buyers were treated to the only anniversary edition for the Golf GTI’s 40th year.

Sold as the Golf GTI Clubsport overseas, Volkswagen’s flagship front-drive hatch was exclusively sold in Australia as the 40 Years in an effort to side-step a trademark battle with Holden Special Vehicles (HSV), which used the Clubsport name on one of its hotted-up Commodores.

Anniversary models have traditionally offered more than just different looks compared to the base GTI, including mechanical upgrades such as more power.

The latest, facelifted eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf isn’t due in Australia until early 2025, meaning – if it did come here – the anniversary edition could arrive here closer to the GTI’s 50th birthday.

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