Volkswagen has torn the covers from its new Golf GTI-based concept, believed to preview a coming new 40th anniversary offering.
Dubbed Clubsport, the concept could go on to a limited release as the ‘Edition 40’ next year, following 2011’s Edition 35 that celebrated, of course, 35 years of the GTI.
While the GTI Clubsport hasn’t been given quite as dramatic a makeover as the special TT, the hero hatch nonetheless gets a number of significant tweaks.
On the visual front, the three-door GTI gets a more aggressive stance on larger wheels and a low offset, along with a bolder aero and styling package.
Powering the Clubsport is a tweaked version of Volkswagen’s EA888 2.0 litre turbo petrol engine, churning out 195kW (and an unspecified torque figure).
The mill is mated to VW’s electronically controlled XDS differential and six-speed DSG auto, and reports suggest the production version will also be offered with a manual shifter.
Performance figures have not been released.
The Clubsport’s output makes it 33kW more powerful than the GTI hatch currently offered in Australia, but still 26kW short of Europe’s 221kW Golf R. (The local model gets a ‘mere’ 206kW.)
It might fall short of the all-wheel-drive Golf R's figures, but the Clubsport's numbers will make the expected 'Edition 40' special-edition model a handy rival to the likes of Renault’s 195kW Megane RS 265.
(The diamond brand still has the German hatch beat, however, thanks to the special 201kW RS 275.)
As for an Australian debut… that will depend on Volkswagen’s production plans. If a right-hand-drive version of the Edition 40 is produced, we could see the Clubsport come here in very, very limited numbers.