VW Golf GTI Clubsport commemorates 40th anniversary at Frankfurt

Article by Christian A., on September 5, 2015

Volkswagen celebrates the 40th birthday of an icon – the Golf GTI – in 2016 by launching a special edition, the new Golf GTI Clubsport. We will get our first look of the production version in Frankfurt at the International Motor Show. Expectations are high, considering that it is the most powerful production GTI that has ever been built.

The automaker has released special edition models during the GTI’s past birthdays (20th, 25th, 30th and 35th). Volkswagen outdid itself with the latest special edition.

The Golf GTI Clubsport is available with “Oryx White” paint with a black roof. However, it is also offered in other colors.

Exterior Design

The designers gave its exterior a totally new front bumper, rear diffuser, side sills, new multi-part roof spoiler, and forged aluminum-alloy wheels built just for the anniversary model.

With these features, this model stands out when put side by side with the regular GTI models. When it comes to styling, the original GTI formed the basis of the Golf GTI Clubsport’s side profile. A wide black trim stripe positioned on the side in the middle of the front and rear wheel arches at sill level made the first generation conspicuous.

Similarly, the anniversary model will have this stripe, which is reminiscent of the 1976 Golf GTI and which has become more prominent with “Clubsport” lettering. A stunning set of “Brescia” 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels designed especially for the new Golf GTI Clubsport is offered as an option.

Meanwhile, the 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels (standard equipment) have a new design. There’s also a new design for its roof spoiler, which was made in the wind tunnel. This feature is much bigger compared to those on the current GTI. The space between the black roof area and the wing-like spoiler right on top of it is narrow.

The underside of the roof spoiler gets a high-gloss black finish while it’s “Oryx White” above the roof line. It also comes as no surprise that the lower rear section of the car was personalized. How the automaker integrated the redesigned, chrome-plated twin tailpipes in the diffuser is truly elegant.

It’s noticeable that the tailpipes of this model have a bigger diameter than those on the regular Golf GTI models. Furthermore, a striking dark black-red finish looks fascinating on the LED rear lights.

Interior Design

All GTIs have the following iconic elements in their interiors: ergonomic sport seats that use tartan fabric upholstery, a golf-ball-shaped shifter knob, red stitching and black headliner. Volkswagen modified these sporty characteristics for the Golf GTI Clubsport. For instance, the model uses folding racing buckets rather than sport seats.

These seats are partly covered with Alcantara and a honeycomb design can be seen on the backrests and seat cushions.

Among the many features that make it sportier are Alcantara trim on the shift lever, individualized floor mats with a red edging accent, and an Alcantara sport steering wheel that’s unlike any other with its red seam, GTI emblem, and 12 o'clock marking.

Upon opening the front doors, those entering are treated to the sight of one-of-a-kind stainless steel kick plates that feature red GTI lettering.


This anniversary model is powered by a turbocharged and direct-injection engine that produces 195 kW / 265 PS – beating the record set by the previous Golf GTI by 35 PS. With its overboost function, the car’s engine power can be increased by 10% more for around 10 seconds to over 290 PS.

Simply pressing the throttle activates this additional power. With a 6-speed manual gearbox, the Golf GTI Clubsport can accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 6.0 seconds. But the time gets cut to 5.9 seconds with the 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DSG), which is offered as an option.

With both transmissions, the model can go as fast as 155 mph. Even with this much power, the car is quite economic. With the manual transmission, the car returns 33.8 mpg and emits 160 g/km of CO2. It gets an additional boost to 34.8 mpg (155 g/km CO2) with the DSG gearbox.

It isn’t only power that is improved on the anniversary model. Its aerodynamics, design, and equipment were also extensively modified. Because of the increased power and increased downforce, the handling of the Golf GTI Clubsport has become outstanding at high speeds, particularly during cornering.

Press Release


At the beginning of 2016, the iconic sporty compact—the Golf GTI— celebrates its 40th birthday. Volkswagen will mark this historic event with a dramatic special edition: the new Golf GTI Clubsport. Volkswagen will present the production version at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, offering a first look at the most powerful production GTI ever.

The company that invented the GTI is thus continuing the tradition of anniversary models, as exclusive special editions also marked the 20th, 25th, 30th and 35th birthdays. The turbocharged and direct-injection engine in the anniversary model delivers an output of 195 kW / 265 PS, 35 PS more than the previous most powerful Golf GTI. That isn't all, however. For a short time—for about 10 seconds—the driver can increase engine power by an additional 10 per cent to more than 290 PS using an overboost function. This added power is activated simply by pressing the throttle fully.

The Golf GTI Clubsport sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 6.0 seconds with a 6-speed manual gearbox; with the optional 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DSG), the time is reduced to 5.9 seconds. The Golf GTI Clubsport has a top speed of 155 mph with both transmissions. Despite all this power and performance,the car is frugal: the manual transmission car has fuel consumption of 33.8 mpg (equivalent to 160 g/km CO2), which improves to 34.8 mpg (155 g/km CO2) with the DSG gearbox.

Not only has the anniversary model got more power, but Volkswagen has also extensively revised the design, equipment and aerodynamics. Due to the high power output and significantly improved downforce, the Golf GTI Clubsport has groundbreaking handling properties at high speeds and breathtaking cornering speeds.

The Golf GTI Clubsport is painted in "Oryx White" (other colors available), with the roof contrasting in black. The exterior designers created a completely new front bumper, new side sills, a new rear diffuser, a new multi- part roof spoiler and exclusive forged aluminum-alloy wheels for the anniversary model. These features immediately make the anniversary model stand out from the regular GTI models.

In terms of style, the side profile of the Golf GTI Clubsport is based on the original GTI: the first generation was characterized by a wide black trim stripe on the side between the front and rear wheel arches at sill level. This stripe is replicated on the side of the anniversary model, paying homage to the 1976 Golf GTI, and is enhanced with "Clubsport" lettering. The black trim stripe is continued at the front around the air scoop incorporated in the front bumper. The optional "Brescia" 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels were specially designed for the new Golf GTI Clubsport , while the standard 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels are also a new design. Another special detail is the high-gloss black door mirror caps.

The redesigned roof spoiler, honed in the wind tunnel, is much larger than its counterpart on the current GTI. There is a narrow gap between the black roof area and the wing-like spoiler placed above it. The roof spoiler is finished in high-gloss black on the underside with "Oryx White" above the roof line. The lower rear section of the car has also been individualized. The redesigned, chrome-plated twin tailpipes have been elegantly integrated in the diffuser; the diameter of the tailpipes is much larger than on the regular Golf GTI models. The LED rear lights are finished in dark black-red.

The interior features iconic details that are essential for every GTI, including ergonomic sport seats featuring tartan fabric upholstery, red stitching, a golf-ball-shaped shifter knob and black headliner. These sporty features have been modified for the Golf GTI Clubsport: the seats are folding racing buckets instead of sport seats, for instance, and are partially covered with Alcantara and feature a honeycomb pattern on the backrests and seat cushions. A red line enhances the seat belts. New trim strips in "Honeycomb 40" design on the instrument panel, center console and doors give the interior an even more exclusive appearance. Sporty decorative features include Alcantara trim on the shift lever, an Alcantara sport steering wheel (with GTI emblem, red seam and 12 o'clock marking) and customized floor mats with red edging. When the driver and front passenger open the doors, they see unique stainless steel kick plates with red GTI lettering.

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