Volkswagen Golf GTI Pirelli (2008): first official pictures

Published: 14 April 2008

The Volkswagen Golf GTI Pirelli is back, 25 years after the original. And the good news is this GTI gets the same power tweak as the Edition 30 Golf we raved about when we drove it last year. The 2.0-litre turbo engines gets 227bhp in Pirelli trim, up from 197bhp. That drops the 0-60mph time by 0.4 seconds to 6.8 and ups the top speed by six points to 152.

What else should I know about the VW Golf GTI Pirelli?

Let’s start with the meaning of the Pirelli tag. It means that the new-design 18-inch wheels are wrapped in Pirelli rubber, 225/40s to be precise - and the full horror of the special edition wardrobe has been thrown at the cabin. The Pirelli logo is monogrammed in the headrests, the part-leather seats are embossed with tyre tracks and you get contrasting yellow stitching on the handbrake, wheel and seats. Make your own mind up on the visual changes, but the Golf GTI Pirelli also gains six airbags, climate control, and ESP.

The GTI Pirelli is available to order now in silver, black or blue, and the front splitter, side skirts and rear bumper are all body-coloured. Prices start at £22,555 for the six-speed manual (the standard car is £20,825) rising to £24,385 for the five-door DSG-equipped car.

Pirelli wheels and tyres were available on later Mk1 Golf GTI models and early Mk2 cars; they were never sold as official standalone models, but became known as Pirelli cars on account of their distinctive P-slot alloys.

VW sold out the 10,500-car production run of Mk1 Pirelli models within six months of its launch in May 1983. It was the last swansong before the Mk2 arrived at the end of that year.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy