Golf GTI Pirelli treads down under

Volkswagen Golf GTI Pirelli

Although not officially confirmed, it is believed that Volkswagen Australia will soon have a limited edition Golf GTI Pirelli in a showroom near you. The GTI Pirelli was first announced at the Wörthersee show in 2007, and launched for UK sales in April this year. The model features a distinctive body kit and reworked 2-litre TFSI engine, yielding figures of 169kW, up 22kW from the regular GTI, and torque has been bumped 20Nm to 300Nm. The Pirelli GTI also features model specific 18″ five spoke ‘P’ alloys, wearing Pirelli P-Zero rubber, of course. The wheels hark back to the original 1983 Mk1 GTI Pirelli, with its ‘P-slot’ wheels. Styling tweaks continue inside with yellow stitching and some choice tyre tread patterned seats. Okay, then. Not such a successful addition. Never mind.

So how much will all this Pirelli bling cost you? Expect pricing to be around $47,500 for the 3 door and $49,000 for the 5 door, offset by the fact only 300 will be delivered to Australia, all fitted with DSG transmissions. Thankfully, other colours will be available in addition to the unique Sunflower yellow featured in these pictures. The extra colours are Diamond Black (or possibly Black Magic as is currently available), Blue Graphite and Reflex Silver, the latter two being familiar to the usual GTI palette.

Look out for an announcement at the Sydney Motor Show in October, in the meantime check out the original European press releases and more pics below. Or you can just muck around with the configurator on Volkswagen’s UK website.

Volkswagen Golf GTI Pirelli

Volkswagen Golf GTI Pirelli

Volkswagen Golf GTI Pirelli

Volkswagen Golf GTI Pirelli

Volkswagen Golf GTI Pirelli

The Golf GTI Pirelli returns 25 years after the original

April 2008 – The iconic Pirelli name is set to make a return to the Golf GTI range exactly 25 years after the original made its debut as the new Volkswagen Golf GTI Pirelli is launched in the UK.

Originally introduced in May 1983 the GTI Pirelli was based on the MkI Golf and featured the distinctive Pirelli ‘P’ alloy wheels. The vehicle proved to be an instant hit with its planned production run of just 10,500 vehicles selling out within six-months.

For 2008 the GTI Pirelli returns to the UK. Based on the MkV GTI bodyshell the new vehicle features uprated dynamics and aesthetics to distinguish it from the standard car.

At its heart is an enhanced version of the 2.0-litre T-FSI engine with its output raised from the standard 200 PS to 230 PS. Drive is channelled through a choice of six-speed manual or the twin-clutch DSG gearbox. The new GTI Pirelli reduces the standard car’s 0-62 mph time of 7.2 seconds to 6.8 seconds while the top speed rises from 146 mph to 152 mph.

As with the original GTI Pirelli the new car features a set of unique alloy wheels. The modest 13-inch wheels fitted to the 1983 car have evolved into a set of five-spoke 18-inch versions fitted, appropriately, with a set of 225/40 R18 Pirelli P-Zero tyres. Body-coloured elements including the front splitter, side skirts and rear bumper are complimented by a set of smoked rear light lenses and tinted rear windows. A unique Pirelli badge mounted on the bootlid further distinguishes the new car which will be available in a choice of three colours – reflex silver, diamond black and blue graphite.

The Pirelli theme continues to the vehicle’s interior which features unique half-leather sports seats with tyre-tread imprints set into the seat base and back. Yellow stitching contrasts against the black leather of the seats, sports steering wheel and handbrake.

Despite the focused nature of the vehicle the standard specification remains high. A total of six airbags, 2Zone electronic climate control, a CD stereo system and Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) are all fitted as standard.

The new Golf GTI Pirelli is available to order now with the first vehicles set to arrive in the country in June. Prices will start at £22,555 on-the-road for the three-door model equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox, rising to £24,385 for the five door model fitted with a six-speed DSG gearbox.

Volkswagen Golf GTI Pirelli

Volkswagen Golf GTI Pirelli

Volkswagen Golf GTI Pirelli

The New Golf GTI Pirelli

Wolfsburg, 17 May 2007 – The Golf GTI Pirelli is back; a powerful, fast and very exclusive GTI. Volkswagen is continuing the history of one of the best known limited edition models in Europe. In May 1983, the “Original Pirelli” arrived on the market. It was based on the first generation, second series Golf GTI. A distinctive identifying feature: Specially designed alloy wheels with the “Pirelli P” on their outer edges. A remarkable 10,500 cars of the special model were built and sold within half a year. Then it was over – a limited edition! If there were an Automobile Hall of Fame for young-timers, the “Pirelli GTI”, as it was called by its fans, would have long held a place there.

The legendary tire tracks of the young-timer are now being extended by the new Golf GTI Pirelli. And indeed with completely new Pirelli high-performance tires too. They are wrapped around powerful 18-inch Pirelli wheels in Titanium look. The car’s interior has been upgraded with a partial-leather sports seat system that has an embedded tire tread pattern. Instead of the previous 112 PS the new car converts 230 PS into forward propulsion. If needed, a 245 km/h top speed is within the car’s capabilities. In 6.8 seconds the Turbo-FSI propels the GTI Pirelli to 100 km/h from a standstill.

The Golf GTI Pirelli, conceptualized by Volkswagen Individual, will be presented in a worldwide debut between May 16 and 20. The occasion and site of this premiere are a perfect fit: The international GTI Meeting at Wörthersee, Austria. Production will begin in September.

Driving performance of the Golf GTI Pirelli
A look at the numbers gives it away: 169 kW / 230 PS – those are the same performance values as the engine in the Golf GTI Edition 30 that arrived on the market in 2006 on the occasion of the GTI’s monumental birthday. The 200 PS of the “normal” GTI were boosted by one PS for each year since 1976. Now this “jubilee engine” is also powering the Golf GTI Pirelli. The sports car races to the 100 km/h mark in just 6.8 seconds. But it can go even faster: When the GTI Pirelli is ordered with the optional DSG dual clutch transmission, the most powerful GTI of all times breaks through the magic “sound barrier” in 6.6 seconds. The GTI philosophy of agility is accompanied by the efficiency with which this Turbo-FSI goes to work: 8.2 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers, or 7.9 liters with DSG, are evidence of the virtuosity with which Volks wagen masters the keyboard of engine building.

Tyres and wheels of the Golf GTI Pirelli
“Power is nothing without control”, says Pirelli. Volkswagen sees it this way too. Chassis, brakes and ESP combine for a well-balanced safety package that can even perform masterfully on the North Loop of the Nuremburg Ring track. But things do not really get rounded out until the tires come into play. That is why Pirelli is contributing a new high-performance tyre to the project: The latest generation of P-Zero tyres. The material mixture and tread pattern of the 225/40 P-Zero were designed to benefit handling, braking, ride comfort and aquaplaning properties.

As in 1983, the tires are wrapped around Pirelli alloy wheels. They are coated with a Titanium-colored paint. The manufacturer interprets the visual effect of the five spokes as an homage to the wheels of the first Pirelli GTI. They had openings in the form of a P for Pirelli on their outer edges. This P is also found in the new wheel design – but in this case it is reflected: In the rim flange. However, there are worlds of difference between the dimensions of the two types of alloy wheels: They are 7.5×18 inch today, but were 6×14 inch back then.

Body of the Golf GTI Pirelli
Bumpers and side skirts painted entirely in car color visually set the Golf GTI Pirelli apart from the 200-PS GTI. Recall that on this classic GTI, introduced at the end of 2004, the spoiler in front, the lower bumper section in the rear, and the skirt between the wheel housings on the sides were in black.

Similar to the GTI Edition 30, a plate with the Pirelli signature on the right side of the tailgate is a reference to this exclusive Golf GTI. In its side profile, the new car has standard tinted rear windows and another Pirelli signature can be seen here on the C-pillar of each side. Designers coordinated the color of the signature to the body paint color. Four of these are offered on the Golf GTI Pirelli. If “Blue graphite” or “Black magic pearl” is selected, the Pirelli signature is in silver. If the GTI – available as a two-door or four-door – is ordered in “Sunflower” or “Reflex silver”, there is a black signature. “Sunflower” – a bright yellow – was created especially for this GTI. So if you look in your rearview mirror this coming fall and see something yellow with a black radiator grille growing larger very quickly, it can only be one thing: The Golf GTI Pirelli.

Interior of the Golf GTI Pirelli
Just as distinctively as on the GTI Edition 30, the GTI Pirelli stands out from the rest of the model series with its refined interior. Take the example of the sports seating system: The standard GTI seats developed by Volkswagen Individual were upgraded to perfectly customize them for the GTI Pirelli: The anthracite colored lateral supports, seatbacks, head restraints and center armrests are upholstered in leather (“Vienna” type); yellow decorative seams provide a fine visual contrast. But the real highlight is the center seat panels. They are not made of the usual GTI “Interlagos” diamond pattern, rather of a breathable and very luxurious microfiber from the Italian producer Miko (“Dinamica” type): The tire tread pattern is embedded in the microfibers, which also sport the anthracite color. There is yet another accent in the front head restraints. Where the “GTI” letters are usually found, in this car the lettering is “Pirelli” throughout.

“Pirelli” equipment features also include heated seats, electrically adjustable lumbar supports in front, and all-leather center armrest in the rear. Under its counterpart in front, there is a storage bin that may be used optionally to house a CD-changer or MP3 player.

The leather sports steering wheel and parking brake grip have been retooled to match the top sports seats: They also have decorative yellow seams. In addition, the steering wheel with ergonomic hand recesses and perforated leather here support a sporty driving style. The vertical spoke of the steering wheel has a metallic Pirelli emblem as an accent.

Engine of the Golf GTI Pirelli
It was 25 years ago when Volkswagen first introduced the era of downsizing on its first turbo-diesel. Of course, the Turbo-FSI on the GTI is technically unrelated to a turbo-diesel, but they have the principle of downsizing in common – in both cases engine displacement is replaced by engine charging. Approximately one decade after the first turbo-diesel, the direct-injection TDI followed. This engine extended the principle of downsizing to include the aspect of direct injection. This mix of technologies yielded lower fuel consumption and emissions, and more torque and power. On the Golf GTI, Volkswagen has transferred its 2004 downsizing concept to a powerful gasoline engine for the first time; its use of a turbocharger with intercooler plus direct injection brings fuel economy and sportiness in greater harmony than ever. The proof of this is measurable: The 147 kW / 200 PS and 280 Newton-meter strong Turbo-FSI of the “normal” GTI attains a top speed of 235 km/h and takes 7.2 seconds for the sprint to 100 km/h. Average fuel consumption: Exceptionally low for a sports car at 8.0 liters per 100 kilometers. If the GTI is shifted by DSG, fuel consumption is reduced to 7.9 liters.

The Golf GTI Pirelli is proof today of the potential in combining gasoline direct injection and charging. Its turbocharged direct-injection gasoline engine is currently the most powerful four cylinder engine from Volkswagen. This front-mounted transverse engine is shifted by a standard manual six-speed gearbox. The 16-valve four cylinder with 1,984 cm3 displacement outputs its maximum power of 169 kW / 230 PS at 5,500 rpm. Its maximum torque of 300 Newton-meters is available over a large speed window – from 2,200 to 5,200 rpm. Nothing is more befitting a sports car than this sort of torque characteristic.

And the efficiency of the charged VW direct injection gasoline engine is measurable here too. In spite of an extra 30 PS, 20 Newton-meters and 10 km/h top speed, compared to the 200-PS version the manually shifted Golf GTI Pirelli consumes just 0.2 liters more fuel per 100 kilometers. When shifted by a DSG dual clutch transmission, its fuel consumption is even identical at 7.9 liters per 100 kilometers!

Volkswagen Golf GTI Pirelli

1983 Volkswagen Golf GTI Pirelli

Source: VWvortex & autoblog

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