New Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 launched

Volkswagen has unveiled a new special edition version of the GTI Clubsport to celebrate the iconic hot hatchback’s 45th birthday

Volkswagen has launched the new Golf GTI Clubsport 45. It’s a special edition version of the brand’s hottest front-wheel-drive hatchback, which features a host of cosmetic revisions and a few interior design tweaks to commemorate the GTI’s 45th anniversary. 

The Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 is available to order in Germany now, with prices starting from €47,790 (around £41,500). It won’t go on sale in the UK until April, although Volkswagen has confirmed that it’ll be slightly cheaper here, with prices expected to start from just under £40,000.

The German brand has also said that production numbers of the Golf GTI Clubsport 45 won’t be limited, although we expect VW will pull the car from the market next year, once the GTI’s 45th anniversary has passed.

Cosmetic tweaks over the standard GTI Clubsport include new 19-inch alloy wheels, Matrix LED headlights, a larger tailgate spoiler and a contrasting black roof. Volkswagen has also fitted a louder Akrapovic sports exhaust system and a unique decal for the hatchback’s flanks, with special edition ‘45’ badges.

Inside, the upgrades continue with a fresh set of sports seats, embroidered with the GTI logo. There’s a new sports steering wheel, too, which carries the same special edition 45 badging as the car’s exterior stickers.

Like the standard Golf GTI Clubsport, this special edition hot hatch is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which produces 296bhp and 400Nm of torque. That’s 54bhp and 30Nm more than the standard Mk8 Golf GTI.

The engine is only available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which sends drive to the front wheels via an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential for improved traction. Like the standard Clubsport, the 45 can sprint from 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds.

However, Volkswagen has added a new ‘Race’ package to the Clubsport 45 which, along with the new exhaust, removes the standard car’s top speed limiter. This means the 45 can comfortably push past 155mph.

The first-generation Golf GTI was launched way back in 1976 and is widely regarded as the car that helped carve out the hot hatchback genre. Since then, Volkswagen has shifted more than 2.3 million examples, which the brand says makes it the world’s most successful compact sports car.

Interestingly, with this 45th anniversary model arriving so early in the current Golf’s lifecycle, we’re faced with the prospect of the Mk8 GTI remaining on sale for the car’s 50th birthday, too. By then, the 2030 ban on pure petrol and diesel cars will be looming large, meaning this Mk8 variant may well be the last Golf GTI we see - in conventional petrol-powered form, at least.

Now read our review of the Mk8 Volkswagen Golf GTI. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…

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