Every driver has their routine when they get into their car each morning.
Be it turning on the stereo or pressing a button to activate the sports exhaust.
With the Golf GTI Clubsport 40 that default procedure should be giving the DSG gearlever an extra nudge down.
That puts the auto six-speed box from Drive into Sport and really gives you something to celebrate in this limited edition anniversary special.
In brief, it is a pared back more driver focused GTI, which still maintains the on-road usability and manners expected of the trusty VW Golf.
There are several styling clues to set this model apart as something special
Created to mark the launch of the hot hatch founding father, the original GTI in 1976, it follows a tradition of limited-edition models.
They were rolled out to mark the 20th, 25th, 30th and 35th birthdays so it is only fitting the current Mark VII gets to mark the midlife milestone.
Special edition is available as a three or five door
At the start of the year this GTI Clubsport Edition 40 was briefly most powerful GTI ever with 261bhp and 286bhp on overboost.
Its crown was usurped in May by the limited 400-run Golf GTI Clubsport S running 306bhp and it was so hardcore they ditched the back seats entirely. These sold out almost immediately.
Twin exhaust pipes set either side of the car hint at performance
But there is still time just to get your name down for the Clubsport 40 Edition as seen here.
The three-door model we tried costs £32,350, which is an extra three and half grand more than a standard GTI.
The Clubsport styling pack includes uniquely shaped front and back bumpers, black honeycomb front air intake, black rear diffuser and chrome tailpipes on either side.
More stand-out is a two-part extended roof spoiler above the rear window and the ‘Clubsport’ decals on the back of the the side skirts.
Distinctive double blade roof spoiler
If that is not distinctive enough the anniversary model can be optioned with a black painted roof. Which will make it really stand out - as long as you don’t option Deep Black pearl effect for the rest of the body.
Each corner has been treated to exclusive 18 inch ‘Quaranta’ 18 inch alloy wheels which are 3kg lighter.
Under the bonnet the 2.0 litre engine has been coaxed to give up a not inconsiderable 10 percent more power. An extra 34bhp over the standard GTI’s 227bhp.
Golf ball style gear know harks back to 1976 original
Design flourish on front wing
This drops the 0-62mph time by 0.2 secs to 6.3 secs and ups the top speed by 2mph to 155mph.
Its party trick is the 10 seconds of overboost available when you are in third gear or higher and nail the throttle.
Slatted front spoiler is part of 40th Edition's unique look
This unleashes a full 286bhp which is great while it lasts, but bear in mind this is the same engine that's in the Seat Leon Cupra which gives the same max power all of the time.
Conspiracy theorists suggest the 40 has been slightly hamstrung so as not to tread on the toes of the 296bhp four-wheel drive Golf R.
With a price difference that makes the all-weather R just a few hundred pounds more expensive, they may have a point.
But 1,375kg Clubsport is considerably lighter and more exclusive.
On a dry twisty road you can exploit this to the max and the Clubsport comes into its own.
The aforementioned preference for the Sport mode in the DSG really makes the car feel more alive.
In comparison, the standard Drive setting feels more like an Eco mode. Putting it up a notch to Sport makes a real difference to the immediacy and duration of the power delivery.
Tech-laden dash can be configured for different displays
As you would expect in a Golf layout is very carefully thought out
Complementing this is the a bespoke suspension set up, with re-tuned springs and dampers aimed at improving responsiveness and agility.
It is one of the most obvious upgrades the keen driver will notice. It will find potholes on your favourite road you never knew existed but the rewards are a sensation of a closer connection to the tarmac.
Settle in behind the relatively thin steering wheel and the performance touches are everywhere. The alcantara-clad wheel with racer style red stripe at 12 o’clock adds to the hard-core feel, along with similarly covered door panels.
However the real party-pieces are the optional £1,350 sports bucket seats with gaps behind the shoulders big enough to fit your arm through. Choosing them means ditching the centre arm rest and pre-crash preventative occupant protection but it is worth the sacrifice of comfort over practicality.
Black Pretoria alloy wheels set off car a treat
Note alacantara steering wheel with red stripe at 12 o'clock position
Another add-on well worth considering is the stunning black Pretoria alloy wheels which attracted a lot of comments during our week with the car.
They are included with the £2,480 variable Dynamic Chassis Control pack which lets you alter the suspension settings.
Being a Golf it obviously comes with useful creature comforts such as Apple Carplay, rear Isofix points and stacks of air bags and safety features.
A thousand of the special editions are coming to UK
Four decades ago the famous GTI initials were picked to represent Grand Touring Injection. This was to highlight the use of the then cutting-edge tech of petrol injection rather than using carburetors and promised increased oomph.
So it seems fitting that this car has gone back to its roots and is the perfect car for the die hard fans who rank performance above cruising.
Golf GTI Clubsport Edition 40 TSI
6-speed DSG, 3 door, £32,350, front wheel drive,
Top speed 155mph
0-62-mph 6.3 sec
CO2 158 g/km
Power: 261bhp (286bhp on overboost)
Torque 350 Nm/lns
Fuel Consumption combined 40.9