More power and more FWD excellence await.
The Volkswagen Golf GTI is the perfect all-round hot hatch as far as most people are concerned, but for the track enthusiast, it's generally the Honda Civic Type R that is considered the ultimate FWD machine. But sometimes Volkswagen pulls back a point on the track, and with the Mk. 7 version of the GTI, that's exactly what happened when VW introduced the Clubsport and Clubsport S. A limited edition with more power and better track prowess, the Clubsport S became an instant classic. Volkswagen clearly understands economics because, instead of waiting for the end of the new Golf's life cycle, the automaker is releasing an unlimited number of new Clubsport models based on the Mk. 8 Golf GTI.
This is not quite as extreme as the old Clubsport S and its focus on Nurburgring supremacy and fits in more like the TCR model. Nevertheless, it's still an upgraded machine and sees power increase from 238 to 292 horsepower. Torque is bumped up too, from 273 to 295 lb-ft. This will help the new Clubsport achieve 0-62 mph in "under six seconds" while top speed will be limited to 155 mph.
Unfortunately, while the current generation of the Golf GTI is available with a six-speed manual, the Clubsport will only be offered with a seven-speed DSG automatic. Nevertheless, it should still be a hoot to drive.
The reason it should be so much fun is that this car is about more than just a power increase. Thanks to suspension that is lowered by 0.6 inches, bigger and lighter brakes, more front camber for better turn-in, and a new "Special" drive mode, the Clubsport is 13 seconds quicker than the normal GTI around the Nordschleife. Naturally, a special model like this should stand out, so a new front spoiler, extended side skirts, rear diffuser, and bigger rear spoiler have all been added along with bigger, oval exhaust tips and unique decals.
Inside, the stylish buckets get perforated leather upholstery with red stitching available as an option.
Pricing is expected to come in under $48,000 in the UK, but will VW keep its promise and bring it Stateside? Time will tell.