Volkswagen has revealed a hardcore variant of its new Golf GTI. Meet the new Golf GTI Clubsport – all 300PS of it. Watch out Hyundai i30 N, Honda Civic Type R and Renault Megané RS 300…
Yes, VW aren’t messing around with the new Golf GTI. The ink is barely dry on the brochures of the standard car. Regardless, we already have a Clubsport with 300PS and a claimed 13-second advantage over the standard Mk8 GTI at the Nürburgring.
VW claims that the new Clubsport isn’t an exact replacement for the Mk7 Clubsport, rather that it straddles Mk7 Clubsport and the even more hardcore Clubsport S. Game on.
The raw numbers are a power hike from 245PS to 300PS – hefty – and a more modest torque hike of 30Nm, up to 400Nm. Zero to 62mph is dispatched in under six seconds and the top speed is electronically limited to 155mph. Power is sent to the front wheels via a seven-speed DSG and a new e-diff. The bad news? There’s no manual option.
The old Clubsports weren’t just hot-rodded GTIs and so, neither is the new one. That e-diff is joined by more aggressive camber up front as well as a new steering and suspension tune to control the extra power. Bigger lighter front brake discs are on-hand to slow it down, too.
On the inside, unlike the original Clubsports, you won’t find a set of exotic-looking bucket seats. Instead, new upholstering for the sports seats. Standard GTI driving modes of Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual remain, albeit with a new addition. Meet ‘Special’ mode, which could be more aptly-named ‘Nürburgring’, given that it sets the car up specifically for a flying lap of the Green Hell. Not one to use in Chiswell Green, then.
On the outside, the Mk8 GTI Clubsport gets a dusting of aerodynamic accoutrements. Up front a new aggressive splitter is a dead giveaway, as are the fang-like elements just above it on each side. Down the side a familiar-looking decal marks the Clubsport out as something a little more than your average GTI, as do extended side skirts. At the back, a very ‘Clubsport’ spoiler, rear diffuser treatment and chunkier exhaust tips complete the look.
The new Mk8 GTI Clubsport is not cheap. An entry point of £37,000 is expected – a full £5,000 more than the standard GTI. It’s worth noting too, that unlike its Mk7 predecessors, the new Clubsport won’t be limited production. VW will take orders towards the end of 2020, with deliveries expected earlier next year rather than later.