Set to go on sale at a price of around £27,500, the celebratory Golf GTI has been created to mark the 40th anniversary of the introduction of Wolfburg’s iconic front-wheel-drive hot hatch, which hit showrooms back in 1976. It was first unveiled in concept form at the annual Wörthesee fan meet in Austria earlier this year.
As with each of the previous four anniversary models produced by Volkswagen, the Clubsport receives a more powerful engine than standard existing versions of the Golf GTI as well as retuned suspension, a series of exterior styling changes and various interior upgrades.
Differentiating the new Clubsport concept from existing versions of the Golf GTI is an aggressive new bodykit that is described as being virtually identical to that set to grace next year’s 40th anniversary model.
Included is a uniquely styled front bumper featuring a large central air duct with a honeycomb insert, additional trapezoidal ducts used to cool the front brakes, prominent high gloss black blades low down on the outer edges and a subtle splitter.
These exterior upgrades are accompanied by high gloss black door mirror housings and a black graphic along the lower edge of the doors in homage to the look of the original Golf GTI. At the rear, Volkswagen’s design team has provided the new car with a new spoiler mounted atop the tailgate together with a heavily restyled bumper with an integrated diffuser and twin chromed tailpipes.
Also new are the Golf GTI Clubsport’s wheels, which are 18-inch units as standard but can be optioned up to 19-inches.
The Golf GTI Clubsport is powered by version of the Volkswagen Group’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder EA888 petrol engine, as used by existing versions of Wolfsburg’s iconic hot hatchback.
But while the standard Golf GTI comes with 217bhp as standard or 227bhp in combination with an optional performance package, the Clubsport will offer 261bhp, making it the most powerful production Golf GTI yet made. A function that temporarily increases turbocharger boost pressure adds a further 10% to the overall output for short bursts of full-throttle action, raising overall reserves to 287bhp.
Volkswagen is yet to reveal a torque figure, although insiders at the company’s Braunschweig research and development centre in Germany suggest it remains at the same level as that of existing Golf GTIs, with 258lb ft developed across a band of revs between 1500 and 4400rpm.
Channelling drive to the front wheels is a six-speed dual-clutch automatic DSG gearbox and electronically controlled XDS differential, though a six-speed manual is also available.