Volkswagen Golf GTI E35 5 Door Review
More than just skin deep

Story and photos by Raymond Lai
19 Dec 2011

The GTI E35 isn’t just a special edition model with cosmetic enhancements and more performance to celebrate the iconic hot hatch’s 35th birthday. Ex-GTI owner Raymond Lai checks it out.

Introduction, styling

Mention the abbreviation GTI and every petrol head and driving enthusiast will immediately pay attention. Just like what Sony’s Walkman did for the portable handy-sized stereo, hot hatches are generally labeled as GTIs. Obviously, it was Volkswagen that created the hot hatch genre thanks to the iconic Golf GTI back in 1976.

35 years on and Volkswagen has decided to celebrate the GTI’s birthday with a special anniversary edition model, the Golf GTI 35th Anniversary Edition or E35 in short. All GTIs offered for the Singapore market will be E35 variants from now. The E35 isn’t exactly the first special GTI model to celebrate its birthday – the Mk V spawned an E30 and ten years ago, Volkswagen offered the Golf GTI 25th Anniversary based on the Mk IV GTI.

 Obviously, the E35 is based on the current generation Mk VI Golf GTI. To differentiate the E35 from the standard GTI, Volkswagen’s designers have enhanced the exterior with an extended lip for the front bumper, body coloured side skirts with a different profile to the standard GTI’s, ‘35’ badges on the front wings, gloss black mirror covers like those on the Golf R and last but not least, unique ‘Watkins Glen’ 18-inch alloy wheels that echo BBS’s iconic cross spoke wheels that some early GTIs ran on.


Like on more recent Mk VI GTIs on the market, the E35 comes with LED daytime running lights integrated within the headlamps while the rear features smoked LED tail lamps. With the right amount and tasteful exterior enhancements, the E35 has the right mix of aggression and sophistication on the outside once again and doesn’t look like it is trying too hard to be a celebratory model.

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Engine Capacity 1984cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 235bhp @ 6300rpm
Torque 300Nm @ 2200rpm
Power to Weight 153.3 bhp per ton


Acceleration 6.6s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 246 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 12.5 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed DSG
Drive Type FF


Body Type 5 Door Hatch
(L x W x H)
(4213 x 1786 x 1501) mm
Wheelbase 2578 mm
Turning Circle 10.9 metres
Kerb Weight 1533 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 55 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs