New Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport gets 296bhp and racetrack mode

Hardcore Golf GTI Clubsport will be track-focused with extra power and muscular styling

  • Hotter version of Golf GTI
  • Only offered with an automatic gearbox
  • Still front-wheel drive

The Volkswagen Golf GTI only went on sale late last month but the even hotter Clubsport version has now been revealed. Highlights include an extra 54bhp, more aggressive styling and a new Nurburgring-honed driving mode.

Unlike the new Volkswagen Golf R, the GTI Clubsport remains front-wheel drive. With this layout and almost 300bhp, it’s a near-perfect match for the Renault Megane RS Trophy (which gets a few upgrades over the regular Megane RS), but it’ll also compete with the Honda Civic Type R and the Ford Focus ST with the Ford-approved Mountune upgrade.

Compared to the standard GTI, the Clubsport gets a range of chassis upgrades including a new electronic differential, exclusive tuning setups for the steering and suspension, and more powerful brakes. It has 296bhp, compared to the standard car’s 242bhp, which means 0-62mph now takes under six seconds. A DSG automatic gearbox comes as standard - there’s no option of a six-speed manual.

You also get a new ‘Special’ driving mode, in addition to Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual options. It’s indicative of the car’s focus but may be rarely used by UK buyers, as it’s specifically set up for the Nurburgring racetrack in Germany. With all the upgrades over the standard GTI, the Clubsport is said to be 13 seconds faster per lap than the car on which it’s based.

Because of the extra power and other upgrades, the Golf GTI Clubsport will cost more than the standard GTI, which starts at £33,460. The Clubsport is likely to cost almost £40,000, although production won’t be limited like the previous Clubsport special edition.

The Clubsport gets an aerodynamic makeover too, with a larger boot spoiler (possibly the same one as the upcoming Golf R), wider front air intakes, a front bumper add-on and two large exhaust pipes. It also comes with a diffuser and subtle Clubsport graphics.

Inside, it features upgraded sports seats trimmed in perforated leather, plus equipment like a digital instrument cluster, 30-colour ambient lighting and smartphone mirroring as standard. Like the Mk7 Golf GTI Clubsport, the new car will remain a five-seater. It’s not known if VW is planning an even lighter Clubsport S version with the rear seats removed.

See where the outgoing Volkswagen Golf GTI features on our lists of the best used sports cars and the fastest hot hatchbacks on sale.

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