Volkswagen Brings the Golf R 20th Anniversary to North America but Won't Get the HP Boost

VW will bring 1,800 even hotter versions of the hottest of hot hatches to the New World.

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Volkswagen unveiled the Golf R 20th Anniversary Edition back in May and we’ve been eagerly awaiting its arrival here in North America ever since. Thursday, VW made all our dreams come true: the 20th Anniversary Edition will go on sale this fall starting at $44,940 for the manual transmission and $45,740 for the 7-speed DSG.

If you are able to snag one of the 1,800 examples coming our way, you’ll only be paying a few hundred dollars more than the base price from a regular R, at $44,290 for the manual and $45,090 for the DSG. That’s because that manual transmission is mated to the same furious little 2.0-liter turbocharged 315-horsepower engine pulling 280 lb-ft of torque the same horsepower that comes with a regular Golf R.

Back in May, Volkswagen was pumped to release its most powerful Golf R ever, but the 14 horsepower bump is unfortunately not coming to the North American market. There’s no mention of Emotion Start either, the childishly fun feature which revs the engine to 2500 rpm when you first start it up.

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That means this version of the Golf R is more about aesthetics and the manual option, which is still only offered in North America. But you’ve got to admit, it’s a sharp looking vehicle and little nods to the anniversary can be found all over the car, making it clearly unique among Golfs, from the press release:

Select changes to the Golf R’s exterior make the 20th Anniversary Edition easily discernable without compromising the sophisticated appeal of the Golf R. Starting from the top, deleting the standard sunroof shaves weight from the Golf R’s highest point and streamlines the hatchback’s roofline. From the side, Golf R’s large 19-inch Estoril wheels are finished in Gloss Black and are fitted with 235/35 summer performance tires. As in every Golf R, a torque vectoring all-wheel-drive system is paired with an advanced DCC® adaptive damping system to help ensure power makes it to the wheels that need it in any driving situation.

The 20th Anniversary Edition will be offered in Lapiz Blue Metallic, Deep Black Pearl, and Pure White, with a limited allocation of vehicles for each color. Subtle trim details further differentiate the special edition: The mirror caps are finished in Lapiz Blue on Pure White and Deep Black vehicles, while on those painted in Lapiz Blue, the mirror caps are gloss black. In all cases, the puddle lights project “20 R” onto the pavement below. Finally, the “R” logos—on the front and rear bumpers and front fenders—are finished in blue, while 20th Anniversary badges tastefully adorn the B-pillars.

The subtle but deliberate nod to performance continues to the interior, where the dash panel and front door trim feature genuine carbon fiber décor inserts for the first time in a production Volkswagen vehicle. These impart a racing personality to an already sporty cabin that is appointed with an ergonomically optimized “D” shape steering wheel and supportive high-bolster sport seats. Keen eyes will note the “R” logo finished in blue on the steering wheel clasp as well. Even away from the vehicle, owners of 20th Anniversary Golf R models will be reminded of the uniqueness of the limited-edition model by the key fob, which features an “R” logo that is finished in blue.

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VW says the Golf R 20th Anniversary edition will go on sale sometime this fall.