Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 priced from £39,980 – more than a Golf R

The Golf GTI Clubsport 45 features aesthetic tweaks to celebrate 45 years since the icon first hit the road

It’s been 45 years since the Volkswagen Golf GTI debuted back in 1976 so to mark the occasion Volkswagen has unveiled the Clubsport 45 special edition. Based on the existing GTI Clubsport, the new limited edition is available to order now with prices starting from £39,980, a £2750 hike over an ordinary Clubsport and £685 more than the range-topping R.

The Clubsport 45 features a number of unique features including a gloss black rear spoiler matching the black roof and wing mirrors, ‘45’ edition decals along each side and a bespoke set of 19-inch ‘Scottsdale’ wheels in black with a stripe around the rim.

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UK-specification models also include a standard-fit Akropovic exhaust, plus the removal of the electronic speed limiter – Volkswagen hasn’t disclosed its new top speed, however 155mph is quoted for the standard car. Aside from these elements the styling and technical package is consistent with the standard Clubsport, slipping between the standard GTI and new Golf R.

As such, powering the Clubsport 45 is the 296bhp version of the ‘evo4’ EA888 2-litre four-cylinder engine, paired with a standard-fit seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and  mechanical locking differential on the front axle. Adaptive dampers are still not standard on the 45, but are optional, and from our experience well worth the upgrade. Performance is unchanged from the standard Clubsport, with a quoted sub-6sec 0-62mph time. 

While the Clubsport 45 is unlikely to reach the heights of the previous Clubsport S that celebrated the big 40, the Mk8 Golf will still be in production when its 50th comes around, and given emissions laws currently being imposed towards the latter half of this decade, has us hoping for one final hurrah for GTI that equates to more than some stickers and a set of black wheels. 

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