The Volkswagen Golf GTI has been gracing the hot hatch scene since 1976, and to commemorate 45 years of the nameplate as a manner of paying homage to the hot-hatch holy grail, the Wolfsburg-based firm has revealed the Golf 8 GTI Clubsport 45.
Based on the Golf 8 GTI Clubsport, the special edition 45 is primarily an appearance upgrade of the Clubsport version and it remains to be seen if the local arm of the German carmaker will be keen to bring it to sunny Mzansi. We here at TopGear SA are of course rooting for it to be offered locally.
In terms of exterior bits, the newly-unveiled Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI Clubsport 45 is fitted with a unique gloss black rear spoiler, black roof, black wing mirrors and there are ‘45’ edition nameplates splashed on the decals.
It rides on black special 19-inch ‘Scottsdale’ wheels that feature a red pinstripe around the rim.
Other features include an Akrapovic exhaust as well as the removal of the top speed limiter. Although the top speed of the Golf 8 GTI Clubsport 45 isn’t quoted, the standard Clubsport tops its speed at 250 km/h. We expect the limited-edition model to go beyond that threshold.
And since it is based on the Clubsport, it also employs the same EA888 2-litre four-cylinder engine with 221 kW and 400 Nm of torque. It channels that power to the front axle via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and a mechanical locking differential. The latter is an excellent addition as this will aid traction and sharper turn-in.
The Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI and R are slated to make their local debut in the second and fourth quarters respectively, while engine outputs are pegged at 180 kW/370 Nm and 235 kW/420 Nm respectively.
With BMW having launched the BMW 128ti, we are of the stern view that the addition of the more focused GTI Clubsport is more than warranted as this segment’s competitiveness knows no bounds.