New Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 Revealed: Worthy model, or a gimmick?
Another milestone Golf GTI for the collection, but is it worth having?
Yes, I fully accept I'm a bit late to the party on this one. In fact, I only learnt about this car after seeing it on BOTB.com, which of course piqued my interest. Before you ask, no, the Clubsport 45 is not an updated version of the celebrated Clubsport Edition 40. The Edition 40, in case you don't remember, was rear-seat deleting, hardcore version that was built to much up many apexes on your desired race track.
Volkswagen are bound to argue that this car is fully capable of doing this as well, but the level of commitment doesn't appear to be there this time. Take the standard Clubsport for example. It's essentially a half-way house between the regular GTI and the fire-breathing, yet easy-to-live-with R, and I would argue that's a model that's not really needed. It'd be like McDonald's making the Big Mac, the Grand Big Mac and then having something called the Large Mac in between. Sure, there may be some form of market for it, but surely not a large one? (no pun intended)
Cynicisms aside, what about the actual car?
I'll be honest, once I've moved my cynicism to one side, I can see that the Clubsport 45 looks pretty tasty. Built to celebrate 45 years of the Golf GTI, it features styling tweaks, a fruity Akrapovic exhaust, and of course, a higher price tag. It features no more power than the standard Clubsport but when you bear in mind its 2.0 litre turbocharged engine is kicking out 300hp, I don't you'll be yearning for much more power anyway.
This means you'll crack 62mph in under 6..0 seconds, but sadly there is no option for a manual - it's 7-speed DSG or nothing. That, to me, is a massive shame and I feel VW should have offered a choice, instead of forcing an automatic down our throats. Still, at least it will make it faster, and also easier to drive at speed.
The lac of a gear lever and a third pedal is disappointing...
It may not have any more firepower, but it certainly looks the part, thanks to new additions including a black roof and black spoiler, which VW says pays homage to black-framed rear window on the original Golf GTI. The Clubsport 45 also offers the 'Race Package', which includes glossy black 19" Scottsdale alloys, removal of the 155mph speed limiter, and a sports exhaust system. There's also '45' badges dotted here and there, to make it stand out from the crowd even more.
How much is it? When can I buy one?
The new Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 will start from 47,790 euros, which currently works out to be a little over £41,000. Is it me, or does that seem a lot for a Golf GTI?
Would you buy one? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.