Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S Nur 20

Volkswagen will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its iconic GTI nameplate with the new Golf GTI Clubsport S. Set to make its debut at Lake Wörthersee soon, we’ve already spotted the model making its rounds on the Nurburgring. Some good did come out of that because Volkswagen has declared that the hot hatch has managed to break the lap record at the Green Hell for front-wheel drive cars with a time of 7:49:21.

That’s a shade quicker than the previous record holder, the Honda Civic Type R that logged a time of 7:50:63, a record it has held since May 2014. So how did the three-door hatchback achieve this feat? The key number here is 310 PS, which is the amount of power the 2.0 litre TSI engine generates along with 380 Nm of torque. That’s just a smidge more than what is available on the Golf R (plus 10 PS).

Modifications to the engine include a new engine control unit, new fuel pump with increased throughput and a new exhaust system with larger diameter tailpipes (65 mm instead of 55 mm). Volkswagen points out that the latter “produces a wonderful and deliberate ‘backfire’ when braking!” The mill is connected to a six-speed manual transmission, which enables the Golf GTI Clubsport S to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 5.8 seconds. The car’s top speed is a delimited 265 km/h.

In the handling department, Volkswagen engineers reworked the car’s chassis to provide better stability and deter prevent understeer. Both axles on the car are now optimised for directional control for higher lateral accelerations, further assisted by an applied negative camber. The brakes also get a slight tuning to prevent the rear-end from breaking away during fast corner entries under heavy braking.

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S Nur 21

To ensure that drivers are uninhibited by “safety nannies,” the hot hatch’s ESC system can be set to intervene a little later in “ESC Sport” mode, or with a three-second button push, can be switched off completely. As a world first, Volkswagen has added a new “Nurburgring” mode to the car’s driving profiles that adjusts all the mechanical bits to track attack settings.

Exterior highlights on the Golf GTI Clubsport S include an aggressive body kit and 19-inch Pretoria alloy wheels that are wrapped with grippy semi-slick Michelin Sport Cup 2 tyres (235/35R19). Bi-xenon headlamps with LED DRLs are also fitted here, along with a few aero components (see that large rear spoiler?)

Inside, the rear seats have been removed, and the front seats are now racing bucket seats – those into numbers and lightness will undoubtedly find the car’s 1,360 kg kerb weight very agreeable. Alcantara trim is applied sparingly, adorning the sport steering wheel (with chrome GTI emblem, red stitching and marker). The Golf’s iconic golf ball gear knob, GTI badging and stainless steel door sill plates with red GTI lettering are also fitted here.

Want one? Unfortunately only 400 units of the Golf GTI Clubsport S will be made, each individually bearing a production number (001/400 to 400/400) on the centre console in the cabin. Additionally, out of the 400 cars, 100 will be reserved for German customers. All of them will be offered in the colours of the original GTI – Tornado Red, Pure White, Deep Black Pearl Effect, with a black roof.