Following on from the Clubsport model revealed in 2016 to mark the GTI’s 40th anniversary, the new car sees the Golf’s turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine power increased from 242bhp to 296bhp. That makes it the most powerful version on the latest-generation Golf yet, though a hotter R model will follow.
However, unlike the standard Golf GTI, which is available with both manual and automatic gearbox options, all Clubsports come with a seven-speed DSG automatic.
It also gets a new system known as ‘Vehicle Dynamics Manager’ that integrates an electronic differential with adaptive chassis control, and is said to offer “noticeable performance benefits”. It also comes with a new ‘Nurburgring’ mode, which is specifically designed for track use.
Styling tweaks on the Clubsport include lowered suspension, a specialist diffuser and new oval tailpipes in place of the standard circular ones. It also gains a new rear wing, while on the cabin it comes with sports seats and a sports steering wheel.
While on the previous Golf GTI Volkswagen offered a limited-edition and now much sought-after Clubsport S model, the firm has said it has no plans to do similar on this new car.
Karsten Schebsdat, head of driving dynamics, steering and control systems at Volkswagen: “Networking all driving dynamics systems means that the new Golf GTI Clubsport handles even more neutrally and precisely than the classic Golf GTI. For the legendary Nordschleife track, we have also programmed a new Nürburgring profile, which specifically adapts the running gear components in the new Golf GTI Clubsport to this race track.”
No prices have been given for the Golf GTI Clubsport, but expect a noticeable increase on the standard hot hatch’s £33,460 starting price.