Volkswagen is celebrating 20 years of Golf R with a new special edition model, aptly named the Golf R 20th Anniversary 

This new model will be limited to 1,800 units, all of which are based on the latest generation of the Golf R. It celebrates two decades of high-performance all-wheel drive Golfs, which started with the release of the Golf R32 in Europe in 2002. 

The 20th Anniversary edition is powered by the current Golf R’s turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 engine, displacing 315 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Although the North American-specced model doesn’t receive any bump in power, it can be optioned with either a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission or a 6-speed manual transmission. While the lack of a power increase may disappoint some, we found the most recent Golf R to be a great driver’s car with some serious track-focused qualities when we took it down to Roebling Road Raceway for an all-out Track Test, so no serious complaints from us.

These models will be easily distinguished by a special “R” badging on the front and rear bumpers, front fenders and B-pillars. At night, the pavement will be illuminated by special puddle lights projecting “20 R.” Of course, this is all cosmetic; performance enhancements include a weight-saving removal of the R’s sunroof. All four corners will ride on special 19-inch Estoril wheels, finished in gloss black and wrapped in 235/35 summer performance tires. 

Outside, all limited editions will be lacquered in either Lapiz Blue Metallic, Deep Black Pearl or Pure White, with a limited allocation of each color available. Depending on the primary color, other trim pieces will change, too; for example, the mirror caps on white and black models will be coated in Lapiz Blue, whereas Lapiz Blue models will see gloss black caps. The cabin is dressed up by genuine carbon fiber inserts, a first for a production Volkswagen vehicle, and an “R” logo on the steering wheel clasp.

The 20th Anniversary edition will retail with a starting MSRP of $44,940 before destination charges; stepping up to the 7-speed DSG will cost an additional $800. Models are expected to go on sale this fall.