Life begins at 40 – GTI hits middle-age

Life begins at 40 – GTI hits middle-age

Volkswagen’s uber-selling Golf has had more limited editions made over the years that probably anything else on four wheels – from special anniversary kits like this one, to brand-partnerships, to the sick-making Harlequin spawned by a deal with Benneton.

The 40th birthday of GTI gives us one of the quickest GTIs yet – and one of its stablemates did set the fastest front-drive record around Green Hell, the Nurburgring’s infamous northern loop.

This is the best limited edition Golf in years – in fact, the GTI VII base car is the most deserving of those three magical letters that anything else this side of the millennial New Years party.

The add-on kit for VW Golf GTI Edition 40 is pretty impressive – but unless you’re quick there’s not much stock left.

Of the 40 allocated – nice work, marketing department – there are only five left, with the balance book at paid for almost as the car’s vital statistics were sent out to the brand faithful by its distributors.

Now despite what buyers of this car will tell you, it isn’t the same animal as the Nurburgring Nordschleife record-smasher…it has been sold overseas as the Clubsport, but as HSV have that trademark sewn up, it was rebadged Edition 40. There’s another version that’s not going on sale here called Clubsport S, with more mumbo, and it’s that scooped the record.

Watch the video below to see the S’ full lap of the ‘ring’s most-challenging drive beaten up by a hot hatch in a very impressive 07:49:21.

Now despite picky motoring writers ruining Edition 40’s best-ever BBQ motor boast, there’s no denial that it’s got a good serve of go, courtesy of the 2-litre, force-fed TSI engine under the bonnet, with an overboost function for a 10-second serve of 10% extra power.

Dress-ups on the outside include very stylish 19-inch Brescia alloys, skirts, new front and rear bumper, including a very cool diffuser tucked, two-piece top spoiler and bi-xenon headlights with dynamic cornering function.

This generation is a vast improvement over the previous generation, with an advanced version of the six-speed DSG gearbox – it combines a far more sorted chassis with high-end DCC adaptive chassis control that can be tuned to suit drivers’ own preferences. The GTI suspension drops 15mm from the base model’s ride height and it shows, with brake force distribution and other driver aids (that can be dumbed down if they’re too invasive) it’s a point-to-point weapon.

At $63,990, there’s a $9500 premium over a standard GTI, but given the low numbers sold here it will hold resale more than a ‘normal’ GTI, and the extra bits are worth more than that amount. With only five left though, there’s no way they’ll last until the boat arrives in June.

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