An enhanced version of Clubsport returns to the Golf GTI offer. Volkswagen promises more significant differences from the original model than in its predecessor.
The Volkswagen Golf GTI is already a traditional part of the German brand’s offer. Originally, the first generation was supposed to build only 5,000 pieces, but in the end it promoted the hot hatch segment, so today the Golf GTI has more than 2.3 million built pieces in its entire history. This year, the latest generation arrived on the market, which shortly after its premiere also debuted as a sharper Golf GTI Clubsport.
Golf GTI Clubsport was first created on the basis of the seventh generation of this hot hatch in 2016 as a celebration of the then fortieth anniversary of the first Golf GTI. Shortly afterwards, an even sharper design followed Clubsport S, which became the fastest front-wheel drive car at the premiere at the famous North Loop of the Nürburgring.
Now comes the second generation of Clubsport, which differs from the original version more than its predecessor. You could say that it is even closer to Clubsport S, but unlike it, it is still primarily a car for ordinary roads than a circuit tool.
The main attention certainly deserves the engine. If in the default model it provides 180 kW of power and 370 Nm of torque, in the case of the Golf GTI Clubsport version it is tuned to 221 kW and equal to 400 Nm
As in the case of the starting gétéíček, it is a supercharged gasoline two-liter family EA888 of the fourth generation, but in this case it differs not only by another control unit, but also by a turbocharger (Continental instead of Garrett) and a larger intercooler. In addition, the engine is to refuel with 98 octane fuel.
Only a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission will be available. The carmaker explains this in the words of its test driver and racer Benjamin Lechter by saying that with a manual a pilot can never shift as fast as with a automatic machine.
The exact technical data has not yet been published by the manufacturer. However, Volkswagen promises that the novelty will accelerate from 0-100 km / h in less than six seconds and drive at a top speed of 250 km / h.
But the new Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport is not just about a strengthened engine. The drive of the exclusively front axle has been retained (it is characteristic of the Golf GTI, after all), but the chassis, which still consists of MacPherson struts at the front and four-link suspension at the rear, was fundamentally modified compared to the initial variant. At the front, the deflection of the wheels changed, as did the steering, and at the rear, the mounting of the wheels and arms or the shock absorber bearings. There is also a more efficient braking system.
These adjustments should result in more agile and fun behavior. In addition, the car should be infernally fast. Specifically on the North Loop of the Nürbugring, a special driving mode is to contribute to this, with settings adapted to the conditions of this track. The special mode also regulates the behavior of the dampers (adaptive dampers, by the way, allow you to select stiffness in 15 modes) or the gearbox, which in this case downshifts as soon as possible to use the braking power of the engine.
The setup work has obviously been successful. The new Golf GTI Clubsport managed to pass the Nordschleife with a great time of 7:54. The starting Golf GTI manages this discipline in 8:07. Benjamin Lechter emphasizes that the new Clubsport manages this time constantly, repeating a similar time in a few races, while in the former Clubsport S, the former record of 7: 49.21 was achieved only under specific conditions.
Clubsport, however, differs in appearance. The redesigned bumper with a larger cooling hole not only makes the car more aggressive, but also improves its aerodynamics. By the way, the downforce was improved on both the front and rear axles. At the rear, the tailpipes then moved further into the corners of the body for a more aggressive look. There is also a distinctive roof spoiler or additional 19-inch wheels, which can be fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. By the way, the car also spent its time at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Inside, we find a specific sports steering wheel or sports seats with distinctive upholstery.
The new Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport is scheduled to go on sale later this year. It will be a supplement to the offer, not a limited edition, limited in time or the number of pieces produced.