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In this study we report laser ablation–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometer U-Pb ages of granitoids from the so-called early granodiorites of the northwest Iberian Variscan belt. The U-Pb results attest to significant magmatic activity in Visean time (ca. 347–337 Ma) that generated a hitherto poorly constrained granitoid suite in the northwest Iberian tract of the western European Variscan belt realm. This early Carboniferous suite (ECS) is mainly composed of peraluminous cold and hot crustal granodiorites and monzogranites with minor associated mafic rocks that attest to minor involvement of mantle melting. Based on the geochronological and geochemical data, we compare the Visean granitoids with younger Variscan granitoids in northwest Iberia and, in view of the tectonothermal scenarios of the Variscan collision in northwest Iberia, propose a model for the genesis of the ECS in northwest Iberia that involves rapid melting upon fast exhumation of the thickened Gondwanan crust in the course of the protracted Variscan collision.