Volkswagen Golf GTI is one of the most iconic cars in Europe, becoming a true legend among hot hatches. The GTI Clubsport 45 is the sixth generation of Golf to be bestowed with a special anniversary edition, and is based on the Golf GTI Clubsport – the quickest and most powerful production Golf GTI in the current eighth-generation line-up – and adds a package of upgrades befitting of such a landmark model. The Golf GTI Clubsport 45 is priced from £39,980.

The recipe is simple, but effective – Volkswagen takes the Golf GTI Clubsport, with its 5.6-second sprint to 62 mph, 300 PS and 400 Nm of torque, removes the speed limiter to facilitate a top speed of 166 mph (where permitted), and adds an Akrapovič titanium sports exhaust system to augment the car’s engine note, save weight and improve exhaust flow.

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The already sporty aesthetic of the GTI Clubsport is given additional assertiveness with a set of dynamic 19-inch ‘Scottsdale’ alloy wheels, which feature a high-gloss black finish and a Tornado Red pinstripe around the rim. The car’s special status is further marked out by ‘45’ lettering on the side sill panels, and a metallic black finish to the door mirror covers and upper part of the spoiler.

Inside, GTI lettering appears on the backrests of the front sports seats, while the ‘45’ emblem features in the centre spoke of the steering wheel – a constant reminder to the driver that they are driving a part of hot hatchback history. Artvelours fabric in the door panels and a leatherette arm support add further sporting luxury to the interior of the model.

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These tweaks combine to create the latest in a six-generation string of subtly tweaked but historically prominent special edition Golf GTI anniversary models, which started with the Golf GTI Mk III 20th Anniversary Edition in 1996, and continued every five years covering the Mk IV, Mk V and Mk VI Golfs in 2001, 2006 and 2011 respectively. For the Golf Mk VII, the model gained special, limited-edition Golf GTI Clubsport and Clubsport S variants for the GTI’s 40th anniversary.

Performance for this new special edition remains the same as that of the acclaimed GTI Clubsport – outputs of 300 PS and 400 Nm of torque translate into acceleration to 62 mph from standstill of 5.6 seconds. The Clubsport 45 achieves fuel economy of 37.7 mpg on the combined WLTP test cycle, with CO2 emissions of 169 g/km.

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