VW Golf GTI Club Sport (2015): a faster kind of GTI confirmed for Worthersee

Published: 08 May 2015

► VW Golf GTI Club Sport concept confirmed
► To be shown at 2015 Worthersee show
► More power, aero upgrades, likely to enter production

In 2016 the VW Golf GTI hits the big four-oh, and in true mid-life crisis style it’s pulled on a trendier wardrobe and gone down the gym.

This is the Volkswagen Golf GTI Club Sport, an upcoming range-topper created especially to celebrate the GTI’s 40th anniversary. It’ll be displayed at the Worthersee show, an annual festival that celebrates all things VW (and GTIs especially), on 14 May. And indications are that it’s not just a show car – it’s likely to get a production run in 2016.

What’s special about the VW Golf GTI Club Sport?

It’s not the first such anniversary model – remember the GTI Edition 30 of 2006? This is a similar recipe – a mild styling and trim workover, and more power.

Revealed only in sketch form so far, the Club Sport will get an extra 35bhp shot in the arm compared with the current most powerful Golf GTI, the 227bhp Performance Pack version.

The Club Sport packs 261bhp, and can temporarily push its output by a further 10% with a ‘boost’ function. So that’s about 287bhp by our maths, making this the most powerful production Golf GTI yet.

We know the engine can take it – the Golf R packs nearly 300bhp. No word on torque figures for the Club Sport yet – or whether it’ll keep that name for production.

GTI Club Sport: design

While the car shown at Worthersee may get toned down ever so slightly before it reaches production, we should expect angry looking bumpers with angular vents, side skirts, a big roof spoiler and rear diffuser.

VW says the latter two aren’t just for show, contributing meaningful aerodynamic performance for ‘breath-taking’ cornering speeds.

Is this as fast as Golfs are going to get?

Nope – there’s also the Golf R420 in the pipeline, a 400bhp superhatch that’ll make the Club Sport seem tame.

Alongside the Club Sport at Worthersee, we’re told there will also be an altogether wilder pure concept car, and a regular, but heavily customised Golf GTI prepped by a team of apprentices.

By the way, if you’re feeling depressed about the Golf GTI being a full 40 years old, the celebration’s perhaps a tad premature in the UK as right-hand drive models didn’t come along until 1977. So don’t panic just yet.

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer