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​Volkswagen celebrates 40 years of the hot hatch with the most powerful production GTI ever

The GTI Clubsport will be the most powerful production GTI ever when it debuts in Frankfurt next week.

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Antuan Goodwin
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Antuan Goodwin Reviews Editor / Cars

Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and performance to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.

2 min read
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2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport

MSRP

Next week, at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show in Germany, automaker Volkswagen will unveil the production version of the Golf GTI Clubsport -- the most powerful production GTI model yet -- in celebration of the hot hatchback's 40th anniversary.

The GTI's 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injected engine gets yet another retune and now outputs a peak 261 horsepower (265 PS) in Clubsport trim. An overboost function allows the Clubsport to further increase its power to more than 286 horsepower (290 PS) for short 10 second bursts when the throttle is fully pressed.

Volkswagen GTI Clubsport preview (pictures)

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The Clubsport sprints to 62 mph from a standing start in just 5.9 seconds when equipped with the optional 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. A skilled driver could row the standard 6-speed manual gearbox to 62 mph in 6.0 seconds flat. Top speed, regardless of gearbox, is stated at 155 mph.

Along with the power bump, the Clubsport distinguishes itself from the standard GTI visually and aerodynamically with unique front bumper, side skirts, rear diffuser and roof spoiler designs. VW is particularly proud of the multi-part roof spoiler, which is wind tunnel tuned and much larger than the standard roof spoiler.

The Clubsport boasts about 35 horsepower more than the previous most powerful Golf GTI variant. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The spoiler and roof are finished in glossy black while the rest of the body is coated in "Oryx White". Contrasting black trim stripes along the lower side sills pay homage to the 1976 Golf GTI and run between standard 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels or optional 19-inch rollers. Inside, the Clubsport features even more unique trim with red highlights, a "Honeycomb 40" design on the instrument cluster and Alcantara upholstery throughout.

Volkswagen hasn't announced pricing, availability or production numbers for the special edition Golf GTI Clubsport, but we know it will be hitting US dealerships at the beginning of 2016. We expect more details to be unveiled when the Clubsport makes its debut at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show next week.