Racier Volkswagen Golf to celebrate 40 years of GTI debuts


Launched in Europe last month to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its iconic Golf GTI, Volkswagen South Africa has confirmed local availability of the limited-run GTI Clubsport which, until the reported arrival of the even hotter Clubsport S, rates the fastest and most powerful GTI ever introduced.

Based on the Performance edition of the standard Golf GTI but using the same 2.0-litre EA888 turbocharged engine as the Golf R, the mill has been fettled with power jumping from 188 kW to 195 kW, with torque remaining unchanged at 350 N.m.

A special overboost function however allows the engine to churn out 213 kW and 380 N.m of torque for 10 seconds when the standard six-speed DSG box is in Sport mode. A lunch control function, with the ASR switched off and the engine at 3 000 rpm, can be activated in this mode. Either way, top speed is rated at 249 km/h with 0-100 km/h over in 5.9 secs. Unlike the four-wheel drive R, the Clubsport sends its grunt through the front wheels only.

In addition to the power upgrade, the Clubsport also features a number of cosmetics additions, namely a redesigned front bumper and spoiler, new central air intake with black honeycomb grille, black roof spoiler, model specific side skirts with black CLUBSPORT lettering, gloss black mirrors, forged 18-inch Belvedere alloy wheels, altered rear diffuser, dual-branch chrome tipped exhausts and smoked LED taillights.

Underneath its skin, the Clubsport remains mostly changed from the GTI Performance with a 15 mm decrease in ride height, XDS+ and optional Dynamic Chassis Control.

Interior changes are also minimal with the Clubsport featuring Vienna leather sport seats with red stitching, velour finish around the gear lever, piano key black inserts, leather door panels with red stitching, floor mats with red piping and lap timer accessed on the 6.5-inch Composition Media infotainment system.

Optional creature comforts are extensive and include 19-inch Brescia alloy wheels, Discover Pro infotainment system with satellite navigation, rear parking sensors, Clubsport racing bucket seats and reverse camera.

A with the standard GTI range, a three year / 120 000 km warranty and five year / 90 000 km is standard with the Clubsport’s R540 200 sticker price.