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GTI Meet at Worthersee (copyright image)

2011 Volkswagen Golf GTI Edition 35 (copyright image)

1976 Volkswagen Golf GTI

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31st May, 2011

They are on the road again: at Worthersee (Austria), enthusiasts will be assembling for the biggest Golf GTI Meet in the world (1st to 4th June). Yet, this time everything is different, because the festival is taking place for the 30th time in 2011. And that is not all: the Golf GTI itself – an icon of sporty compacts – has just turned 35! That's 30 years of the GTI Meet and 35 years of the Golf GTI – a double anniversary. And it is being celebrated in a special way. The highlight: the Golf GTI Edition 35, specially developed for the anniversary – at 173 kW (235 PS) the most powerful GTI ever! The “anniversary GTI” is now on sale in Europe and will be available in Australia later in the year.

In addition, car racing is taking special honours at Wörthersee: Volkswagen Motorsport GmbH is bringing the Golf 24 – the 324 kW (440 PS) all-wheel drive Golf that will compete in this year’s 24-hour race at the Nurburgring (23rd to 26th June). Because the GTI is celebrating a birthday, a second Golf race car, presented to enthusiasts in a debut at Worthersee too, will enter the competition at the 'ring as well. It is: a freshly restored Golf GTI 16S Group 4 of the year 1977. From just 1,600 cm3 displacement, its Oettinger engine transfers a remarkable 158 kW (215 PS) to the crankshaft – without turbocharger breathing. This GTI classic will race in the 24-hour Classic (3-hours for distance) that is held before the main event. (copyright image)
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Golf GTI Edition 35: The most powerful Golf GTI outputs the cited 173 kW and can move at 247 km/h. Volkswagen was by no means satisfied with simply increasing the power of the production engine. Rather, the Golf GTI Edition 35 utilises the engine of the all-wheel drive Golf R, its power adapted to the front-wheel drive. What a success story! 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: that there would still be a Golf GTI 35 years later; that the power would handily exceed 170 kW; and that nearly two million Golf GTI would be sold by today.

Now, in 2011, the new Golf GTI Edition 35 is proving the potential of the GTI idea. The car offers non-stop road grip thanks to its XDS electronic differential lock. An optional 6-speed DSG handles gear-shifting in fractions of a second. The Volkswagen converts each and every one of its maximum of 300 Newton metres of torque into forward propulsion. After just 6.6 seconds, the GTI passes the 100 km/h mark. Sporty performance and fuel economy are not contradictions here – and that is how it has always been with the GTI. The standard fuel consumption of the exclusive Golf GTI Edition 35 is just 8.1 l/100 km; shifted by DSG, fuel consumption even improves to 8.0 l/100 km. This makes the Golf GTI Edition 35 one of the most fuel-efficient sports cars in its power class.

Golf GTI 16S: The key facts about this car show that it is in a league of its own, and not just in the realm of classic cars: 1,600 cm3 of displacement generates 158 kW (215 PS). With Volkswagen support, the specialists at KWL Motorsport of Burscheid have rebuilt the GTI. It is equipped with such features as a Bilstein chassis, sequential 5-speed racing gearbox from Volkswagen Motorsport and an 80-litre fuel tank. Over the past two years, KWL Motorsport has made quite a stir with two class victories at the 24 hour classic at the Nürburgring – in the first generation Scirocco. This time, motor sport experts are entering the Golf GTI 16S of the year 1977 in Group 4 competition for engines with up to 2.0 litres displacement – once again with the driver duo Patrick Simon and Heinz Stüber who were victorious in 2009 and 2010. Their clear goal: a third consecutive class victory for Volkswagen!

Golf 24: In the Golf 24, Volkswagen is bringing a legend back to the 24-hour race. The 324 kW (440 PS) all-wheel drive car is a new design from the ground up that was developed right on time for the anniversary of the production GTI. Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen: “What our engineers and technicians have put on wheels for the 24 hour race is best described by the word Super Golf.” In fact: the Golf 24 is powered by a 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo engine. Dr. Donatus Wichelhaus, Director of Engine Development at Volkswagen Motorsport: “We scrutinised every detail of the base engine and re-engineered it.” When it came to the running gear, Volkswagen engineers called back on the lay out of the Scirocco GT24-CNG and radically developed it further; Volkswagen Motorsport 2010 scored a three-fold victory with the Scirocco. The chances are good that this year the Golf 24 will continue this string of successes: three Golf 24 race cars will start – with top-class drivers such as Volkswagen drivers René Rast and Peter Terting, DTM veteran Edoardo Mortara and Formula-1 drivers Johnny Herbert and Mark Blundel.

Those who want to see the Golf 24 up close before the 24-hour race should head out to Worthersee. But they will have to hurry – about 200,000 enthusiasts are already on their way!


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