The newly unveiled Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport and Golf R Mk8 have officially been introduced in the UK market. The pair of hot hatches join the existing range of GTI, GTD and GTE models, some of which are even available in an estate bodystyle.

Let’s start with the GTI Clubsport. This front-wheel drive hatch is powered by the ubiquitous EA888 evo4 2.0 litre TSI engine that’s tuned to develop 300 PS and 400 Nm of torque. Together with a fast-shifting seven-speed DSG (dual-clutch Direct Shift Gearbox), it accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds, making it the fastest-accelerating Golf GTI, ever.

Unique to it are components such as the large two-part rear spoiler to reduce lift over the rear axle, a model-specific front bumper with integrated splitter for better downforce, oval tailpipes (as opposed to the GTI’s regular rounded ones), and an enhanced diffuser. There’s also Clubsport-specific ArtVelours seats, Digital Cockpit Pro, and Discover Media navigation system.

Other niceties include the revered Vehicle Dynamics Manager, electromechanical front-axle locking differential, XDS electronic differential lock, and optional Dynamic Chassis Control. The Golf GTI Clubsport Mk8 starts at £37,215 (RM203k).

Next up, the Golf R Mk8. It is unequivocally the most powerful Golf ever made. Powering it is the same EA888 2.0 litre four-banger that makes 320 PS and 420 Nm. A seven-speed DSG sends drive to all four wheels (4Motion), enabling a blistering sprint time of 4.7 seconds. Top speed is rated at 250 km/h, but this can be raised to 270 km/h with the optional R-Performance pack (£2,000 or RM11k).

The R-Performance package adds 19-inch Estoril alloy wheels, a performance rear spoiler, as well as two new drive modes – Drift and Special. The latter is an extension of Race mode, which primes the driveline for maximum performance and amplifies the engine sound. Dynamic Chassis Control is also an option.

As standard, the Golf R Mk8 wears a set of 18-inch Jerez alloy wheels, blue brake calipers, full R body kit, subtle roof spoiler with quad exhaust exits, hallmark matte chrome wing mirror caps, heated R steering wheel with R button (quick access to drive modes), sports seats with integrated head restraints. Available accessories include an Akrapovi? titanium exhaust, panoramic sunroof, Harmon Kardon sound system and a head up display. Prices start from £39,270 (RM214k).

Volkswagen UK marketing head Sarah Cox said: “Christmas has come early for fast Volkswagen fans, with not just one performance hero opening to UK customers today, but two. The Golf GTI Clubsport takes the iconic GTI with its winning formula and turns the dial up for even more driver involvement and focus, while the Golf R maintains its all-round appeal, with a fantastic new version of our 4Motion system providing even more fun behind the wheel.”

“UK buyers love hot hatchbacks like the Golf R and GTI, and these cars will represent a considerable share of all new Golf sales. I can’t wait to order one myself,” she added.

GALLERY: 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport Mk8


GALLERY: 2021 Volkswagen Golf R Mk8