The Volkswagen Golf has turned 50, and the German carmaker is marking half a century of its small hatch by introducing another GTI special edition.

    Based on the upcoming Mk8.5 hatchback, the Golf GTI Clubsport boasts more aggressive looks, a power boost and track-inspired suspension tuning.

    Volkswagen Australia is yet to confirm whether the new Golf GTI Clubsport will come to local showrooms, though we’ve yet to see a special edition of the front-wheel drive performance nameplate Down Under since the previous-generation GTI TCR in 2020.

    On the outside, the Golf GTI Clubsport is set apart from the standard performance model by its new front bumper – now sans fog lights and with larger intakes – an illuminated grille badge, a lack of red highlighting stripes, the addition of lower door decals and a rear spoiler.

    While the 19-inch Queenstown wheels pictured here are available on the standard Golf GTI, the Clubsport will also be available in certain markets with unique 19-inch Warmenau forged wheels, which weigh just 8kg each.

    Inside, we can’t see any changes to the standard GTI based on the images Volkswagen has shared. As with the updated GTI, there’s a new steering wheel and a new infotainment system.

    There is however one additional drive mode – in addition to Eco, Comfort, Normal and Sport – known as Special, claimed to be modelled on the characteristics of the Nürburgring Nordschleife with refined adaptive damper settings.

    Under the bonnet, the Golf GTI’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine has been turned up from 195kW of power to 221kW for the Clubsport, identical to power outputs in the pre-facelift Clubsport 45 and Clubsport which weren’t sold in Australia.

    Drive is sent to the front wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and an electronically controlled front differential lock, with a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.6 seconds – identical to its Clubsport predecessors.

    Its top speed is normally electronically limited to 250km/h, though opting for the Race package increases its highest velocity to 267km/h.

    While we’re yet to hear about whether the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport is coming to Australia, the wider updated Golf range is due to launch locally in early 2025, following the start of production in the fourth quarter of 2024.

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    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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