VW Golf GTI Clubsport gets 296bhp 27 | 10 | 2020

    VW HAS LIFTED the wraps from its most potent Golf; say ‘hello’ to the 296bhp GTI Clubsport. Order books will open before the end of the year, with prices expected to start around £37,000. (Related: New VW Golf GTI starts at £33,460)

    Lighter and more aggressive than the ‘standard’ Golf GTI, the Clubsport is essentially a track-based version of VW’s iconic hothatch. (Related: 2020 VW Golf prices and trims)

    Powered by the same 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine as found in the GTI, the Clubsport boosts output by a whopping 54bhp to 296bhp. Torque also increases over the standard GTI, up by 30Nm over the regular Mk8 GTI to 400Nm. VW claims a 0-62mph time of less than six seconds, and the Clubsport tops out at an electronically-restricted 155mph. (Related: 2020 VW Golf Estate)


    To ensure the Clubsport doesn’t overlap too much with the imminent Golf R, which is expected to deliver 328bhp, the Clubsport’s power is delivered to the front wheels via a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. There is no manual option.

    Externally the Clubsport gains additional aerodynamic elements over the GTI, including a larger rear wing and new rear diffuser, extended side skirts, and a new chin spoiler at the front. There’s also LED headlights, Clubsport graphics are applied low on the front doors, plus larger, oval exhaust tips and 18in alloys all as standard. Light adaptive LED matrix headlights are an option. (Related: First official look at VW ID.4 design)


    Inside the cabin he Clubsport gets newly-upholstered sports seats with perforated leather trim, while red stitching is available as an option. A 10-inch central touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus 30-colour ambient lighting and a Digital Cockpit are all standard kit. (Related: VW e-up! prices and spec)


    VW engineers have carried out significant chassis and driveline work to the Clubsport. Included is a new electronic differential, plus retuned steering and suspension with a more aggressive front camber for sharper turn-in. Not surprisingly, the brakes have been upgraded too, with larger and lighter front discs.


    In keeping with the  regular Golf GTI, the Clubsport features a number of selectable driving modes; these alter the parameters of the engine, gearbox, optional adaptive dampers and steering. In addition to the regular Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual settings, the Clubsport features one more mode: Special.


    It’s unlikely though that buyers will ever get the most out of this mode, as it’s a set-up tailored for the Nurburgring in Germany. That’s where VW’s engineers spent a significant amount of time developing the Clubsport.

    Related: VW reveals 341-mile range ID.3

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    Jim McGill


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