VW-Golf-GTIVolkswagen has revealed combined sales of its hot hatch Golfs have topped 23% of total range sales so far in 2014 – a model mix it hasn’t achieved since the late 1990s.

Sales of the GTD, GTI and R versions made up 23.23% of UK Golf registrations between January-May 2014. Normally, car makers are pleased to hit a 10% mix of their top-line hot hatch versions.

It’s the Golf GTD that’s leading the way, but the performance of the latest 200hp Golf R also raises an eyebrow – it’s outselling the regular Golf GTI and GTI Performance Pack combined! The hot hatch Golf sales split is thus:

  • GTD: 13%
  • R: 5.4%
  • GTI: 2.5%
  • GTI Performance Pack: 2.3%

A spokesman confirmed that “it’s been a long while since the performance models have taken such a large share of the mix: not since the MkIV from 1999-2001, in fact”. And don’t think it’s simply because so many more hot Golf variants are now offered – that MkIV mix included the 115hp base Golf GTI (as owned by MR…), plus the GTI TDI-badged cars, as well as the regular 150hp 1.8T GTI.

Current Golf GTD/GTI/R sales still have a little while to go before they reach the all-time hot Golf model mix, though. “Back in the days of the MkII, GTI sales peaked at 30% in 1989, when customers could choose between an 8v and 16v car.”

The strong sales of Volkswagen’s hot Golfs isn’t quite as impressive as another model in the range though: the Golf SE currently accounts for 48% of all Golf sales. It’s now being replaced by the Golf Match – which, because of its extra value, may see sales top 50%.

Match or hot hatch, with the rest left trailing: in an era of complex model ranges and myriad variants, it’s nice to see one brand (and its buyers) are keeping things simple.