The Golf GTI Clubsport S is the most powerful ever version of the Golf GTI and was built to celebrate 40 years of the iconic hot hatchback. With German racing driver Benny Leuchter at the wheel, the car has just smashed the existing lap record for front-wheel-drive production cars on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, with a time of 7 minutes, 49.21 seconds!
Based on the Golf GTI Clubsport, the performance numbers of this new GTI are truly impressive. The engine of the front-wheel drive Golf GTI Clubsport S is technically based on the 1,984 cc TSI engine that also powers the other versions of the Golf GTI and the Golf R. It outputs 306hp and 380Nm of torque between 1,700 and 5,300 rpm. This allows the hot hatch to sprint from 0 to 100km/h in 5.8 seconds before reaching a top speed of 260km/h.
The Clubsport S is based on the two-door model with a manual transmission, in order to keep the weight as low as possible. By removing the rear-seat bench, adding a smaller battery and aluminum subframe and brake covers, and doing away with pesky details such as the insulating material, the variable luggage compartment floor, the rear parcel shelf, the floor mats and the bonnet damping, the GTI Clubsport S gets 30kg of weight reduction over the already slimmed down GTI Clubsport pushing its curb weight down to 1,280kg.
The Golf GTI Clubsport S has an exclusive setting for the most demanding racetrack in the world, which can be accessed using the driving profile selector. This is possible because the car is fitted as standard with the individually configurable Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) and a driving profile selector.
In the ‘Individual’ driving profile, the engineers have developed a setting that is fine-tuned to suit the unique conditions of the Nürburgring. Over and above that, the Comfort, Normal and Race settings are also available.
The driver can still adjust the settings in the Individual profile, as usual, and can revert to the Nürburgring setting by resetting the Individual profile on the touchscreen menu. This unique configuration switches the Sound, Engine and Steering parameters in the Race profile as well as DCC to Comfort. However, in this instance an entirely different group of settings is hidden behind this option, instead of the normal Race and Comfort settings.
In terms of looks, the Golf GTI Clubsport S can be distinguished by semi-slick Michelin Sport Cup 2 tyres mounted on 19-inch “Pretoria” alloy wheels, tinted rear windows, “Clubsport S” type plates, Bi-Xenon headlights with cornering lights and LED daytime running lights.
The brake system was also modified to withstand the high temperatures inflicted at a racetrack. The disc bells are made of aluminium and are connected to the steel discs by cast location pins, allowing them to expand radially when they heat up. An important factor for the car’s handling is that the unsprung mass of each wheel is 1kg lower thanks to the aluminum brake covers. To further improve the braking performance, the Golf GTI Clubsport S has special brake pads.
Each of the 400 Golf GTI Clubsport S cars made will have its production number (001/400 to 400/400) on the center console in the front. The driver and the front seat passenger sit in racing bucket seats that provide the necessary lateral support while flying around the Nordschleife.
The car also features GTI insignia that’s featured in the “normal” Golf GTI Clubsport, including the iconic golf ball shifter knob with Alcantara trim, a red line in the safety belts, “Honeycomb 40” design decals on the dashboard and doors, and elegant Piano Black accents. The extremely grippy Alcantara-trimmed sport steering wheel, which has a chrome GTI emblem, red stitching and the 12-o’clock position marked out, was designed to be ergonomically perfect for the track.
The new GTI Clubsport is available for purchase with a production run limited to only 400 cars worldwide, with 100 of those will be delivered to customers in Germany. The colours available will also be limited to those of the original GTI: “Tornado Red”, “Pure White” and “Deep Black Pearl Effect”, with the roof painted black.
Volkswagen has yet to release a sales date or prices, but we may learn more soon when it makes its world premiere at Lake Wörthersee in Austria on 4th to 7th May 2016.