VW Golf GTI Clubsport 45 26 | 02 | 2021

    VOLKSWAGEN HAS INTRODUCED its new Golf GTI Clubsport 45. The special edition commemorates the GTI’s 45th anniversary and comes with a host of cosmetic revisions and a few interior design tweaks. This latest version of VW’s hottest front-wheel-drive hatchback will go on-sale in the UK in April, with prices expected to start just under £40,000.

    The big question is, is the ’45’ a limited run or not? VW says it isn’t, but I suspect it’d be fair to assume production will stop next year once the 45th anniversary 12 months have past. (Related: 2021 VW Golf R unveiled)

    So, what’s new? The Clubsport 45 gets a larger tailgate spoiler, Matrix LED headlights, a contrasting black roof, and a louder Akrapovic sports exhaust system. There’s also a unique decal for the hatchback’s flanks, with special edition ‘45’ badges, plus new 19-inch alloys.


    Inside the cabin, in addition to a new sports steering wheel which carries the same special edition 45 badging, there’s a new set of sports seats, embroidered with the GTI logo. (Related: New VW Golf GTI starts at £33,460)

    Power, as in the the standard Golf GTI Clubsport, comes from the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which produces 296bhp and 400Nm of torque. Compared to the standard Golf GTI MkVIII, that’s a significant increase of 54bhp and 30Nm. And as with the standard Clubsport, the 45 can sprint from 0-62mph in 5.6secs.


    A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox is standard on the 45; no manual option is available. The auto ‘box sends power to the front wheels via an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential for improved traction. (Related: 2020 VW Golf Estate)

    The Clubsport 45 has been fitted with a new ‘Race’ package which, in addition to the new exhaust, gets rid of the standard car’s top speed limiter. Result? The 45 can storm past the previously electronically-limited 155mph.


    And let’s doff our caps to the GTI. VW launched the first-generation, and iconic Golf GTI in 1976, and in doing so essentially created the hot hatchback genre. Since then, more than 2.3 million Golf GTis have been sold.


    Related: 2020 VW Golf prices and trims

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    Jim McGill


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