Volkswagen is celebrating 45 years of the Golf GTI with a new Clubsport 45 edition, which has gone on sale this week with prices starting at just under £40,000. The special anniversary edition is bestowed with extra equipment over the ‘standard’ GTI Clubsport, including a new exhaust system.

That Akrapovic titanium sports exhaust is designed to “augment the car’s engine note”, as well as saving weight and improving the flow of exhaust gases. The exhaust is joined by 19-inch ‘Scottsdale’ alloy wheels with a glossy black finish and red trim around the circumference, as well as ‘45’ lettering on the side sills and a metallic black finish on the door mirror covers and upper spoiler.

Inside, there’s GTI lettering on the backrests of the front sports seats, and there’s a ‘45’ emblem embedded in the centre spoke of the steering wheel. Artvelours fabric in the door panels and a leatherette arm support round out the interior upgrades.

VW Golf GTI „Clubsport 45“

The cabin is also adorned with a wide range of standard features that betray the car’s place atop the GTI pecking order. A digital instrument display is standard, along with LED headlights, and a Vehicle Dynamics Manager that includes a locking differential to reduce understeer. Bigger brakes have also been fitted, and customers can specify the Dynamic Chassis Control system that includes adjustable dampers.

Despite all this equipment, performance remains similar to that of the GTI Clubsport. Both that and the 45 edition come with 296 bhp and 295 lb-ft of torque, allowing a 0-62 mph time of 5.6 seconds. However, the Clubsport 45 has no speed limiter, allowing it to reach 166 mph if the mood takes you.

Prices for the Clubsport 45 start at £39,980, making the special edition just under £3,000 more expensive than the stock GTI Clubsport. Order books opened today (April 29), and interested parties can order via their local VW dealer.

“The Golf GTI Clubsport 45 celebrates 45 years of the Golf GTI in style,” said Lisa Hartley, the Golf product manager at Volkswagen UK. “It’s the latest in a long line of GTI anniversary special editions, and offers a greater level of dynamic engagement and agility than ever before.

“The Clubsport 45 is a piece of Volkswagen heritage in motion. It’s the latest chapter in the ongoing Golf GTI story, 45 years – and counting – in the making. It is no exaggeration to call the GTI an automotive icon.”

Gallery: VW Golf GTI Clubsport 45