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New 296bhp Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport now on sale

Hardcore Golf GTI Clubsport is track-focused and has extra power

  • Costs £37,215 before options
  • Only offered with an automatic gearbox
  • Still front-wheel drive

The new Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport is now on sale for £37,215. The range-topping GTI model is tuned for racetracks, with special driving modes and an extra 54bhp over the standard Golf GTI.

Unlike the new Volkswagen Golf R, which also goes on sale today, 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 just 5.6 seconds. Not only is the Clubsport the most powerful GTI model ever, it’s also the quickest-accelerating too. 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.

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Because of the extra power and other upgrades, the Golf GTI Clubsport costs almost £4,000 more than the standard GTI, which starts at £33,460. Production won’t be limited like the previous Clubsport special edition but its price means it’s close to the new 316bhp Golf R, which costs £39,270.

The Clubsport gets an aerodynamic makeover too, with a larger boot spoiler, 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 Volkswagen Golf GTI features on our lists of the best used sports cars and the fastest hot hatchbacks on sale.

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