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Volkswagen takes renamed Golf GTI Clubsport

Life begins at 40: Volkswagen could not use the Clubsport name in Australia because of the HSV model, so it will be called the Golf GTI 40 Years.

40-year anniversary of GTI celebrated with special-edition VW Golf hot hatch


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24 Feb 2016

VOLKSWAGEN has confirmed that it will launch the potent special-edition Golf GTI Clubsport in Australia, but it will carry a different moniker for our market.

The GTI 40 Years – an Australia-specific model designation to avoid clashes with HSV's Clubsport – will land in five-door form and sit between the GTI Performance (which donates some of its clever driveline) and R models in the existing line-up.

Volkswagen Group Australia public relations manager Kurt McGuiness said the car-maker was interested in both manual and DSG dual-clutch versions of the 195kW hatchback.

“Mid year it will be here,” he said. “What I can confirm at the moment is that it will be a five door and a unique model to our market, the 195kW engine will be in it and it will be the fastest GTI ever.

“Both gearboxes are appealing to us, we don't know what sort of numbers we will be getting at this stage but obviously it's a special edition,” he said.

Pricing is yet to be confirmed but Mr McGuiness agreed that it would logically sit somewhere between the current front GTI Performance at $46,490 plus on-road costs and the all-wheel-drive Golf R at $52,740.

The special edition that made its debut at last year's Frankfurt motor show, has been produced to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first Golf GTI and is the most powerful production GTI to date with a 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.9 seconds.

Under the bonnet, the turbocharged direct-injection engine delivers an output of 195kW – up from the GTI's 162kW and the GTI Performance model's 169kW – with a 10 per cent increase available for a short time on overboost to deliver 213kW.

The Golf GTI sprints to 100 km/h in 6.0 seconds with a six-speed manual gearbox, or 5.9 seconds with the optional six-speed DSG and has a limited top speed of 250km/h and 249km/h in the DSG.

The Golf GTI 40 Years/Clubsport's hero hue is Oryx White (other colours will be available, according to VW), with a contrasting black roof, accompanied by a new front bumper, side sills, a rear diffuser, a multi-part roof spoiler and exclusive forged alloy wheels for the anniversary model.

The design also invokes styling cues from the first-generation 1976 GTI, which had a wide black side stripe between the front and rear wheel arches at bumper height, where the European model also has the lettering Clubsport high-gloss black exterior mirror trim further differentiates it from the standard GTI.

Available as options in its European home market are model-specific 19-inch alloy wheels for those who think the standard 18-inch alloy wheels are not enough.

The redesigned and larger roof edge spoiler was developed in a wind tunnel, teamed with a large rear diffuser the rear also gets chrome-plated larger-diameter twin tailpipes within the rear diffuser and darkened LED tail-lights.

The interior is typical GTI but with a twist – the anniversary model features folding Alcantara racing bucket seats instead of sport seats, with honeycomb pattern and GTI lettering.

Alcantara trim is also used on the gear lever and the sports steering wheel, which gets a GTI Logo, red stitching and the 12-o'clock red stitching mark.

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