Volkswagen is at it again, and this time with a special edition of the Golf GTI Clubsport to commemorate 45 years of the iconic hatchback. The quickest GTI variant that we folks Stateside can only gawk at from afar, the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 is the latest in a storied line.
Essentially a spiffed-up version of the already hardcore GTI Clubsport, the Golf GTI Clubsport 45 adds a package of upgrades that reduce weight and elevate status. First up is an Akrapovič titanium sports exhaust system that improves flow and amplifies the exhaust note. The hot hatch gains 19-inch “Scottsdale” alloy wheels featuring a Tornado Red pinstripe around the rim and finished in high-gloss black paint. Other exterior updates include “45th Anniversary” badges on the side sill panels and a metallic black finish on the door mirror caps and rear spoiler.
On the inside, the sport seats feature GTI lettering on the backrests, and the steering wheel sports a “45” badge. Moreover, the interior also gets ArtVelours fabric on the door panels and a leatherette arm support. Based on the GTI, the Clubsport 45 carries over the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, but it generates 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque—a not-insignificant bump over the already excellent regular GTI.
The Clubsport 45 is the latest GTI anniversary model, which began with the MkIII 20th Anniversary Edition in 1996. Since then, Volkswagen made it a tradition to introduce special-edition Golfs every five years. For the MkVII GTI, the Clubsport and Clubsport S variants celebrated the 40th anniversary of the legendary hot hatch.
Touted as the pinnacle of the GTI range, the Golf GTI Clubsport 45 is available to order now in Europe, and sadly not to American consumers. As many of you know, this year, Volkswagen pulled the plug on the non-GTI Golf after nearly fifty years in the U.S., and while we are not getting the Clubsport 45 we will happily relish all the greatness of the Volkswagen GTI until the arrival of the 315-hp Golf R.