It’s time to blow out the candles with a crackling twin-exit exhaust: the Golf GTI is now 45 years old. VW has a tradition of wheeling out a special anniversary version every five years, something it’s done since the GTI 20th Anniversary, and this time is no different.
The vehicular birthday cake substitute is the Golf GTI Clubsport 45. It neatly follows the last Clubsport, another anniversary special which was referred to as the Clubsport Edition 40 in the UK market.
It uses the new Mk8 version of the Clubsport as a starting point, and although power remains the same at 297bhp, there are plenty of other goodies to enjoy. It gets some unique looks courtesy of a black roof and black roof spoiler, the latter element inspired by the black-framed rear window used on the Mk1 GTI. ‘45’ stickers on the rear doors further mark this out as no ordinary Clubsport.
VW has also fitted an exclusive ‘Race package’ as standard, providing gloss black ‘Scottsdale’ 19-inch alloy wheels and a top speed limiter removal, which gives a 169mph top speed. We reckon you’ll be able to crack 170 with a tailwind.
Inside there are snazzy sports seats partially clad with a honeycomb pattern on pattern, and a special ‘45’ logo on the steering wheel. You might have noticed the Golf 8’s weird gear selector nubbin poking out of the centre console - that’ll be on all models. As per the standard Clubsport, the 45 is available only with a seven-speed dual clutch ‘DSG’ gearbox. No manual here, we’re afraid.
Orders will kick off on 1 March with a starting price of €47,790 in Germany. British sales should follow in April, and although UK pricing hasn’t been confirmed just yet, the expectation is for the 45 to come in at just under £40,000. The standard Clubsport, for comparison, is £37,215.