News broke this morning that the brand new RS4 Avant is unsurprisingly not coming to the United States. While this is no doubt disappointing to the twelve people who actually would have bought it and the 1.8 million who claim on the internet they would if given the option, it follows a long tradition in German motoring of leaving the best of the breed in the homeland. When it came to the GTI, not only did we have to wait several years before we got the hot Golf, but indeed it was a bit watered down and heavier when it did arrive. The same continued in the next two generations; more weight, less power. Both in the second and third generations we also lost out on supercharging, all-wheel drive and special body kits available in the European market.
Once again in 2001, a neat Golf was launched that – of course – wasn’t coming to the United States. But of all of the special editions that weren’t sold here, perhaps this one made the most sense to be excluded. It was called the 25th Anniversary Edition and you didn’t need to be good at math to realize that there was no GTI sold here 25 years before 2001. Since the “18 year Anniversary Edition” didn’t make much sense from a marketing perspective even in spite of Volkswagen’s continual spotty judgement in that regard, it was no surprise that it wasn’t offered. That was too bad, as it had a lowered suspension, better brakes, a bit more power, fantastic Recaro seats and the best looking BBS wheels fit to any Volkswagen, ever. Volkswagen enthusiasts in America drool inwardly and shouted openly, so in 2002 Volkswagen finally did bring the special edition here. Again, since “19th Anniversary” didn’t make any sense, we instead got the “337” Edition.…
For fans of the GTI, the 4th generation offered a few “greatest hits” editions for the model. The first to launch was the 2001 “25th Anniversary Edition”, built to commemorate a quarter century of hot Volkswagen hatches – in Europe, at least. Since the GTI wasn’t launched in the U.S. until 1983, a “18th” anniversary wouldn’t have made much sense here. However, what was basically the 25th Anniversary Edition was brought here in 2002. The “337” Edition ran in 2002 with Votex bodywork and great BBS RC wheels, along with a cozy set of Recaro seats. Only 1,250 were sold out fairly quickly, so in 2003 Volkswagen continued the greatest hits parade with the release of the nearly identical 20th Anniversary Edition. Each was numbered and a total of 4,200 were made, each now available in three colors and with OZ-made Aristo wheels in place of the BBSs as well as different interior fabric over the same Recaro seats. They were popular new and have remained the Mk.4 to get outside of the R for the past 15 years:
Last week I wrote up a Imola Yellow 20th Anniversary Edition GTi, a car that I prefer for a few reasons over the R32 – sacrilegious though it may be. Today another of these limited-run GTis has popped up, this time Metallic Black but again with those great Recaros and Aristo alloys:
Model: GTi 20th Anniversary Edition
Engine: 1.8 liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 106,000 mi
Price: No Reserve Auction
2003-Volkswagon GTI-20th anniversary edition, limited production only 4,000 made. new timing belt, new six speed transmissions and new tires. have receipts available for work done. runs excellent! Recaro seats. call Romeo @ 732-773-5480
NOTE: THIS CAR IS BEING SOLD LOCALLY. THIS IS AN AUCTION AND COULD END AT ANYTIME!
NO EMAILS PLEASE!
In comparison to the yellow car, this is a slightly more common but less sought-after color, but there are many who want a black GTi. Again I’m happy that the original alloys are there, and the car overall appears to be clean and in good condition. It’s nice that the timing belt, transmission and tires have all been replaced recently – certainly less to worry about; but I do note in the photos that the airbag light is on. Despite that, this GTi really embodies the GTi package – sport, looks, utility and economy in an affordable package. For $8,000, this is a lot of different car in one slick package!