In the Volkswagen universe, the "Wolfsburg Edition" is a slightly modified production version of a particular model of a car. Sometimes it is also called a "Wolfsburg Special Edition", but that's not completely accurate because there is nothing that special about them as there have been Wolfsburg's of almost every VW made (special implies a one-time thing).

The "Wolfsburg" obviously comes from the head Volkswagen facility being located in Wolfsburg, Germany. As one person suggested to me, think of the Wolfsburg Editions of VWs as you think of the Director's Cut of a particular movie -- the stuff that the main people in charge wanted to put in but was taken out of the main version for various reasons.

Criteria for a Wolfsburg Edition varies wildly from year to year and some years are more "potent" than others. Generally speaking, the WE will only be applicable to changes in body and trim, but not to engine (these being saved for GT/GTi/GLi models). In some years, such as 1987, the WE will simply mean something like rear seat headrests and a special shift knob; in other years is means a different body kit, better seats and even frequently a special Wolfsburg-only color.

One thing that Wolfsburgs all have in common, however, as the little round badges denoting their lineage -- these are more often than naught on the front fenders close to the front door hinges and are circular enameled; They are either set on a white or black background and feature a blocky (e.g. low res) two-parapeted castle with a stylized wolf between the towers set in a shield and the words "Wolfsburg Edition" encircling the outer edge of the badge. Some of the very newest mk.IV vehicles are also Wolfsburgs, but have a oval chrome emblem without the castle, namely the 99> Jetta Wolfsburg.

These are not to be confused with the square or rectangular found on some fenders -- these square badges feature only the castle and wolf but not the "Wolfsburg edition" verbiage and are there only in the North American models to cover the holes that, in Euro models, hold the side marker lights (generally applicable to pre-A3 VW's, however, as all newer VW's come with side markers regardless of market).

You can purchase aftermarket stick-on WE badges from many supply stores, but that's just "L4M3" and you know it.. like putting a "Type R" badge on your Tercel.

obVW*: As an example, I have a 1990 Golf GL Wolfsburg. The differences between this and the base model are few, but in my opinion they really make the car worth it; that model year gave the WE larger front bumpers, Recaro seats and a better sound system. You could get these options separately, of course, except for one: in my model year the color "Tornado Red" was only available for WE's.

In North America there have been Wolfsburg Editions of the Rabbit, Golf, Jetta, Scirroco and Fox. Strangely, I don't think there are or have been WE's of the Passat/Quantum/Dasher. There are no WE's of any pre-Golf VeeDubs, as well as no WE's of the Vans, Pickups or Corrado (because it was special already).

* - Obligatory Volkswagen: in many VW communities on the net, when adding input you must also present a reference to a Volkswagen of some sort; this is frequently the one(s) you own, but can also be as simple as a funny story or VW reference.

The MKIV (1999-2004.5) VW Jetta Wolfsburg Edition was offered during the 2001 and 2003 model years. Differences between the Wolfsburg Edition and GLS model it was based off of are as follows: 16" BBS RXII wheels, sport suspension, sport seats, leather 3 spoke steering wheel, leather wrapped shift knob, and leather wrapped emergency brake. These differences from the normal GLS are tremendous improvements. The improvements that the sport suspension or sport seats make alone are worth the additional cost in my opinion.

Minor variations between the 01's and 03's also existed such as the exhaust cutout (03), trunk spoiler(03), cup holder locations (center console for 01, between seats 03) , and color options. The 01's came in black, reflex silver, tornado red, and white. The 03's had the same color choices with the exception of tornado red swapped for galactic blue. Both model years offered a sunroof and monsoon sound system as options. Both came with a 5-speed manual transmission, which is far better than VW's automatic.

Both came with the same 1.8T engine, however, the 01's came with 150hp stock and the 03's with 180hp. The horsepower difference is from modifications made to the engine's ecu, or chip. Both versions are capable of much greater horsepower, but are limited to stagger VW's engine lineup. A simple chip reflash can make engines from either year produce 200+hp. This information can be useful when buying any pre-2002 VW with a 1.8T because the 150hp version will usually be sold at a lower price. A new chip (around $500) will give any 1.8T comparable or greater power to the stock VR6.

The only Wolfsburg specific problem is pitting on the OEM BBS RXII wheels. It is most common in areas that use salt on the roads during snow season. What happens is the clear coat on the polished lip allows salt and water to get under it, leaving behind spider web looking markings around the edge of the wheel. I have never heard of this effecting the wheels durability, but dealerships have been extremely reluctant to fix this even under warrantee. BBS will also not fix this under warantee because the RXII's (two-piece wheel) are unique to the MKIV Wolfsburg, unlike the standard RX (one-piece wheel).

The "sport" suspension is the same as the suspension included in the optional sport package. It lowers the car approximately 0.5mm - 0.8mm lower than stock. The only mechanical difference I'm aware of are stiffer springs, made by no particular suspension company. As an option, this would hardly be worth it, but since it comes on the Wolfsburg, it certainly is a major improvement over a stock Jetta GLS. The ride is not harsh by any means, and the lower stance of the car is not enough to adversely affect ground clearance. If nothing else, the car's ride height simply looks better and is more fun to drive than a regular GLS. I have been told that the US sport suspension was the European standard suspension, but because of US safety regulations, and consumer demand for comfort, all MKIV's were raised a bit and had softer springs for the US market.

Average gas mileage for the Wolfsburg is 28 mpg city, 34 mpg highway. It is recommended that 93 octane fuel be used with the 1.8T, as well as synthetic oil. The higher prices for these are discouraging, but anything less and gas mileage, horsepower, and reliability will suffer.

I personally own an 01 Wolfsburg and have not had any problems. In general though, Volkswagens have not had a great reputation for reliability, and the Wolfsburg is not exempt. The most common problems on the MKIV's being failed window regulators, random check engine lights, and problems with the mass airflow sensor.

The Jetta Wolfsburg is how the base Jetta really should have come equipped to begin in the US. With dealers charging a premium on used Wolfsburgs, it may not be a good choice when a similarly equipped GLS may be had for cheaper. But if the price is good, the Wolfsburg is a great special edition with all its added features.

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