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Volkswagen - 2011 Golf GTI Edition 35
Volkswagen - 2011 Golf GTI Edition 35

Volkswagen - 2011 Golf GTI Edition 35

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VW Golf GTI Edition 35 The year 2011 marks 35 years of the Golf GTI ! Volkswagen is celebrating the anniversary of this icon with the VW Golf GTI Edition 35. The edition in nu... More »
VW Golf GTI Edition 35

The year 2011 marks 35 years of the

Golf GTI

! Volkswagen is celebrating the anniversary of this icon with the VW Golf GTI Edition 35. The edition in numbers: 173 kW / 235 PS of power (25 PS more than the normal GTI) and a fast 247 km/h top speed; 6 kg/PS power density. It will be a collector's item from day one - arriving right on the 35th anniversary of the GTI legend. Back in the summer of 1976 - when the very first production GTI was launched - no one ever would have surmised what Volkswagen had just unleashed. No one. Not even Volkswagen itself. Some things simply cannot be planned - icons included. And so the

first Golf GTI

surprised everyone: buyers, competitors, the carmaker and - on the Autobahn - all those drivers of other sports cars and luxury saloons who had never heard of such a thing from Volkswagen, but were now being passed by it. Since then, the GTI advanced to become the most successful compact sports car in automotive history. 5,000 GTIs were planned - yet the GTI of our day is irrepressibly approaching the production milestone of 2 million units built!

6.6 seconds for the sprint

Now, the Volkswagen Golf GTI Edition 35 is proving the potential of this automobile. As always, it has front-wheel drive and offers nonstop road grip thanks to its XDS electronic differential lock. The Volkswagen converts each and every one of its maximum of 300 Newton metres of torque (2,200 to 5,500 rpm) into forward propulsion. After just 6.6 seconds, the VW Golf GTI Edition 35 passes the 100 km/h mark. No other GTI before it has been this dynamic. An optional 6-speed DSG can shift gears in fractions of a second.

35 years of design evolution

For the past 35 years, Volkswagen has been developing its Golf GTI icon in careful steps, refining its shape like a diamond, making its forms more precise, perfecting its handling, and making its engine performance more dynamic. This is all happening once again. Visually, the Volkswagen Golf GTI Edition 35 can be recognised by its new bumper design in front, which can be optionally equipped with bi-xenon headlights plus cornering and LED daytime running lights. The car's aerodynamics were improved by winglets (air flow surfaces) positioned at lower outboard areas in front, and the mid-section of the front spoiler was kept in black. On the car's sides, it is the glossy black mirror housings, side sill extensions in body colour and the "35" edition badge on the front wings that identify the anniversary model. All Golf GTI Edition 35 cars are also equipped with smoked LED rear lights, an LED-illuminated licence plate at the rear and smoked rear windows.

2 new wheel classics

In addition, Volkswagen has developed new, standard 18-inch "Watkins Glen" alloy wheels for the Volkswagen Golf GTI Edition 35 (named after a US racetrack in the state of New York). The wheels, fitted with 225/40 R18 tyres, are available in one light-coloured version ("Sterling Silver") and one dark-coloured version ("Grey Metallic"). Also new to the programme and available on all Golf GTIs: optional 19-inch "Glendale" alloy wheels with 225/35 tyres. The five spokes on this wheel are painted black, while the rim flange itself is machine-polished. Based on their clean, sporty designs, both new wheels - like the familiar GTI wheels "Denver" and "Detroit" - have the potential to become classics.

9 exterior paints

White, black, red and silver have been classic GTI colours for 35 years. Naturally, they (and 5 other paints) are also offered on the GTI Edition 35. To be specific, Volkswagen is offering this Golf in the 3 monochrome colours "Candy White", "Tornado Red" and "Black", 4 metallic paints "Carbon Steel Grey", "Reflex Silver", "Shadow Blue" and "United Grey" and in the pearl effect colours "Blue Graphite" and "Deep Black".

1 legendary gear shift grip

The interior was customised too. New GTI ingredients here: the gear shift grip in the classic golf ball look of the first generation GTI, new decorative strips in the cockpit area and the door trim panels ("Black Array" type), special door sill plates with worked-in "35" logo, safety belts with red stripes and a "35" integrated in the front head restraints of the top sport seats ("Jacky" style).

3 GTI seat cover versions

In addition, the interior design team conceptualised an entirely new type of upholstery for the VW Golf GTI Edition 35 in "Favo" / "San Remo" pattern (optional), which, like "Jacky" (standard), matches the GTI's character perfectly. The inside lateral seat supports and front parts of the head restraints are designed in sophisticated "Vienna" leather in "Titan Black". Meanwhile, the centre seat panels have active-breathing microfibres (likewise black), and their styling matches the legendary honeycomb pattern of the GTI radiator grille. The "35" logo appears on the backs of the seats, and all decorative seams of this seat design are in "Flash Red". Also always in red: decorative seams around the 3-spoke sport steering wheel, the hand brake and gear shift trim as well as the borders of the floor mats. Last but not least, it is of course possible to order the seats of the Volkswagen Golf GTI Edition 35 completely upholstered in leather ("Vienna") as well.

The engine of the Golf GTI Edition 35

When 173 kW / 235 PS of power (+ 25 PS compared to the normal GTI; maximum power from 5,500 to 6,300 rpm) and a torque of 300 Nm (+ 20 Nm; maximum torque from 2,200 to 5,500 rpm) act on the car with a kerb weight of 1,400 kg, this unleashes vehicle dynamics that match those of a purebred sports car in any measure of performance. Its acceleration (0-100 km/h in 6.6 s) and top speed (247 km/h) are the usual statistical measures, but much more important and typical of this GTI is its relentless torque in every speed range. Step into the GTI, adjust the ergonomically fitting sport seats and the sport steering wheel, turn on the ignition (by key or optionally by button press) and a storm breaks loose. Acoustically too: the GTI already has a full sporty sound, but new tuning of the sound actuator makes it even sportier. Clearly, to discover the true potential of the GTI machine, each owner of the Volkswagen Golf GTI Edition 35 should really visit - at least once and with all due respect - the North Loop of the Nürburgring race course.

1,984 cm3 displacement

The engine employed in the VW Golf GTI Edition 35 is a turbocharged petrol direct-injection engine of the EA113 engine series. Those of you who are now thinking of the all-wheel drive Golf R are on the right track. The two vehicles share the same base engine. The 2.0 litre four-cylinder engine builds up its propulsive power via a turbocharger (0.9 bar boost pressure at 5,500 rpm) with intercooling. The GTI engine is controlled by a fully electronic engine management system with E-Gas. The engine's pistons are equipped with reinforced gudgeon pins. The connecting rod was also designed with greater strength, so that it can reliably transfer high torque to the crankshaft. The cylinder block was reinforced to handle the extremely high engine forces that occur.

8.0 l/100 km with DSG

Despite all of its dynamic performance, the Volkswagen Golf GTI Edition 35 is also efficient at combusting its preferred fuel (Super, 95 ROZ). The new GTI with manual gearbox offers a respectable combined fuel consumption of 8.1 litres per 100 km (equivalent to 189 g/km CO2). In the DSG version, these two values are improved to 8.0 l/100 km and 185 g/km CO2.

Power transmission in the Golf GTI Edition 35

The engine's power is transferred via either a manual 6-speed gearbox or an optional 6-speed DSG transmission. For 35 years, the GTI has been driven via the front axle. There, the standard XDS electronic differential lock now ensures that the rubber on the tyres remains there and does not end up on the street. Moreover, XDS significantly improves handling properties. Technically, XDS is a functional extension of the electronic differential lock (EDS) that is integrated in the ESP system. As soon as the electronics detects that the front wheel at the inside of the bend is excessively unloaded during fast driving, the ESP hydraulics build up braking pressure at this wheel to restore optimal traction. That is, XDS acts as a transverse differential lock that compensates for the typical understeering of front-wheel drive vehicles during quick driving through bends. The result: thanks to XDS, the driving behaviour of the GTI is significantly more precise and neutral.

15 mm lower ride height

Like all GTIs, the Edition 35 is equipped with a sport chassis; the body sits 15 mm lower than on a conventional Golf. Working in front is the familiar MacPherson suspension with helical springs and telescoping dampers. At the rear, an innovative multi-link suspension ensures that the ESP system seldom needs to be activated. The Volkswagen's four disc brakes are also extremely durable and strong: braked from 100 km/h, the VW Golf GTI Edition 35 reaches a standstill after about 35 metres! And that too is typical for this GTI.

Origins of the GTI

The Golf GTI has been in existence for 35 years now. Officially. But of course its history actually began much earlier, and that part of its story is unofficial. A group of enthusiasts - devotees of the dynamic side of Volkswagen - initially advanced the "Sport Golf" project in secret starting in 1974. Taking the lead roles here were Anton Konrad, former PR director, and Alfons Löwenberg, an engineer with petrol coursing through his blood...

The idea

"On 18 March 1974 I wrote a widely distributed internal memo - across all hierarchies as was my style back then," recalls Alfons Löwenberg. Its subject matter: one should really consider offering a sporty Golf model for younger customers. Löwenberg might have put on a coat when he got the feedback: he perceived a definite chill in the air. "It was clear to see", says Anton Konrad, "that Volkswagen was fully occupied with the roll-out of its new model line-up. At that time, very few were receptive to a special project of this kind." Nonetheless, Löwenberg continues to work meticulously and in secret - on a test car...

Jumping the gun

The engineer plants a Weber dual carburettor on top of the Golf's 1.6-litre engine, gives the body an official sport exhaust and lowers the entire ride height to a brutal level. Occupant comfort tends towards zero. With this thing of a car, he raises an acoustic cacophony at the Volkswagen test centre in Ehra-Lessien, but then ventures forth from his cover too early and too far: Löwenberg lets Head of Research Prof. Dr. Ernst Fiala drive the noisy car, and with disastrous results: "Afterwards, Fiala roared at about the same volume as the sport exhaust system installed on the Golf," explains Löwenberg today. Now, 35 years later, this event seems humorous. "Undrivable, this car!" is what Fiala's assessment was said to be. The test car was suddenly on very thin ice. "We had to change our strategy, and quickly," explains Konrad in 2011. So, in 1974 he extended invitations to these people: Head of Development and Golf Project Leader Hermann Hablitzel, Jürgen Adler (Department Head - Interior Engineerng), Herbert Schuster (Head of Passenger Car Testing), Horst-Dieter Schwittlinsky (Marketing) and Alfons Löwenberg. Konrad knew that if a vehicle proposal were to bear fruit he had to "take discussions of the project away from the company environment". So, the comfortable venue for discussions was his living room...

The truth

"Exactly!" some of you might say, now comes the story about the meeting over beer and sandwiches! "It was actually over coffee, and my wife baked a cake," emphasises Konrad, correcting the previous version of the story.

The launch

Clarity makes its way into the "Sport Golf" project. First, a clearly outlined goal is set: A sporty, comfortable car with everyday practicality should be created - not a roaring race car. The initial target volume: 5,000 units as a basis for type approval for legal motorsport registration. "Too small a volume for Sales to make money after amortising costs," recalls Horst-Dieter Schwittlinsky today. "We knew that the GTI could only be implemented at low cost by using production parts," analyses Herbert Schuster. The results of the meeting: the group likes its ingenious recipe for success as much as the cake that was served. The team really begins to bite into its task.

The ingredients

For cost and weight reasons, the two-door base model of the Golf is used as the basis for the GTI, and its running gear is modified to handle the additional engine power. Schuster: "The front running gear got an anti-roll bar and larger brake callipers, and the team decided on internally ventilated brake discs. The Golf's ride height was lowered modestly with 20 mm shorter springs and matching dampers. This would make the later GTI well-behaved, especially at its performance limits, and it could be driven comfortably - even at high speeds." Recaro supplies the sport seats, and the sport steering wheel is contributed by the Scirocco TS introduced shortly before the GTI. In parallel, the design department brainstorms over this question: What should such a car look like? "Back then, we decided that the colour combination black-red was very sporty," reports Gunhild Liljequist, who at that time designed material samples, door trim panels, interior features and later other special models at Volkswagen. For the GTI, she creates the now legendary tartan seat cover pattern. A colleague of hers comes up with the idea of the red stripe around the radiator grille, and she conceptualises the golf ball used as a gear shift grip.

The engine

But there is still one technical problem: "To train Customer Service on how to service the Weber dual carburettor, and for just 5,000 cars, was completely unthinkable!" says Konrad. Then, in the midst of the project, he was invited to Ingolstadt by then Head of Audi Development Ferdinand Piëch. Anton Konrad: "Mr. Piëch introduced me to the new Audi 80 GTE and asked whether I would like to come along for a test ride. I spontaneously answered 'Yes'." Konrad is immediately impressed by the 110 PS injection engine and realises: this is the right engine for "the project"! When Konrad informs him about the project, Piëch makes a quick decision too: Volkswagen will get 5,000 GTE engines for the new Golf top model. "With that," says Konrad, "we knew that the car was now finished and could be officially proposed!"

The decision

Chairman of the Board Toni Schmücker is now briefed by Konrad on the by now open secret, which is submitted for approval as the "Sport Golf" project. The rest is history: the originally planned 5,000 Golf GTIs turned into nearly 2 million in 2011...
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