2013 Volkswagen GTI Driver's Edition 2013 Volkswagen GTI Driver’s Edition

With the all-new Golf and GTI coming here in 2014, the current GTI sees a stay of execution of about a year. To juice sales during this time, Volkswagen is offering two special-edition versions, each packing a bit more content into the 10Best-winning hot hatch. Both are only available on five-door models, and both are offered only in black, gray, or white. Thrilling? Maybe not, but we won’t refuse any new GTI.

GTI Wolfsburg Edition

The Wolfsburg is, in essence, a base five-door GTI with some equipment borrowed from posher GTI trim levels. The entry-level version’s 18-inch wheels are swapped for a nicer set, a golf-ball shift knob is installed, and occupants’ feet rest atop floor mats with red contrast stitching. At $25,890, it’s $300 more than the base car, but the rims would cost more than $300 apiece to buy from the parts department. The DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission is optional for $1100. Two thousand will be sold here, meaning the Wolfsburg should account for roughly one in eight 2013 GTIs on the road. (VW did not have one of these on the show stand in Chicago, nor did it serve up any photography. It will look essentially identical to the Driver’s Edition pictured here, however.)

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GTI Driver’s Edition

In addition to the special badging, these cars add partial leather seats—in lieu of standard cloth surfaces—to the GTI with the normally available “Sunroof and Navigation” package. Clocking in at $30,490, the GTI Driver’s Edition cars are $900 dearer than otherwise comparably equipped non-special-edition GTIs; that’s a heavy price to pay for some leather on the seats. (A dual-clutch auto can be added for $1100 here, too.)

Volkswagen would probably point out that buyers are also getting bragging rights to owning a rather exclusive car, and they’ll also get the wheels, shift knob, and floor mats from the Wolfsburg car. How limited is it? A total of 3000 will be sold here, and each owner will receive a certificate of authenticity, a keychain, a parking sign, and a GTI hat. Suffice it to say, we’re quite relieved about the certificate of authenticity; who hasn’t heard about someone counterfeiting a special-edition Volkswagen?

2013 Volkswagen GTI Driver's Edition

2013 Chicago auto show full coverage

By Justin Berkowitz