New go-faster Volkswagen Golf GTI leaked online

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Words: Matthew Hansen
25 Feb 2021

The Volkswagen Golf line-up is a pretty nuanced beast these days. There’s your standard models, of course, plus your plug-in hybrids. The eGolf is no longer a thing (thanks I.D3), but the performance variants thankfully remain — GTI, GTI Clubsport, and R included.

Now, yet another limited edition GTI appears to be coming down the pipe, in the form of the Edition 45. This is according to a series of leaked press images that were beamed all over the internet overnight, showing a hot hatch that appears to shade the Clubsport.

It’s been reported that the model represents a celebration of the golf GTI’s 45th anniversary. A worthy celebration, given that the nameplate effectively helped found one of the motoring enthusiast world’s most popular genres of car.

The 45 and Clubsport appear to share a few bits. Most notably they feature the same rear spoiler, diffuser, and exhaust pipes. They also get a mostly identical honeycomb-lined front bumper, too.

These changes are backed up by a set of new red-rimmed black multi-spoke wheels, and new graphics throughout (one would assume the repeated ‘45’ insignias are likely to appear in some fashion inside as well).

It’s unclear if the 45 will also share the Clubsport’s souped-up powertrain. The more powerful 2.0-litre turbofour lifts the bar from the standard GTI’s 180kW/370Nm to 221kW/400Nm. It’s also exclusively paired to a seven-speed dual clutch, meaning no manual.

Given that the Clubsport isn’t coming to New Zealand, the 45 Edition might not be a starter locally, either. We await the model’s formal launch to hopefully get down to the bottom of whether Kiwis will be able to trade their hard-earned for one.

In the meantime, the first of Volkswagen’s new Mk8 Golfs have been spotted in New Zealand. The firm has already confirmed to NZ Autocar that the TSI Life and GTI trims will be the first Mk8 Golfs available locally, with the flagship R set to land in either the third or fourth quarter.

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