Volkswagen pumps even more goodness into the Golf GTI

Whenever the Clubsport badge is attached to a Golf, you know that’s going to be a special car. In this case, the Mk8 Golf-based GTI Clubsport promises to keep day-to-day usability intact while it spices up everything else, including your weekend spent on the Nürburgring.

Changes you can’t see but feel

The Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport Makes the Standard GTI Look Like a Girl's Car Exterior
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We’re told that the new GTI Clubsport is a significant improvement over the regular GTI, but at the same time, it’s not a continuation of the Clubsport S (which was a limited edition, anyway).

By improvement, we mean that the GTI Clubsport can lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife 13 seconds quicker than the Mk8 GTI it’s based on.

So you’re looking at a lap time of 7:54 minutes instead of 8:07 minutes with the optional 19-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.

The Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport Makes the Standard GTI Look Like a Girl's Car Exterior
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Green Hell bragging rights aside, The GTI Clubsport packs 296 horsepower (up from the GTI’s 242 ponies) and 295 pound-feet of torque (up from the GTI’s 273 rating), according to Evo. The engine’s been tweaked mildly, in case you’re wondering. Specifically, fuel injection pressure took a hike to 350 bar and the turbocharger is a Garrett-sourced unit.

As a result, the Clubsport is also quicker off the line, but VW only mentioned that it needs under six seconds to zap from 0 to 100 kph (0-62 mph). Does that mean 5.5 seconds? 5.7? 5.8? We don’t know. Top speed suffers no changes, so that’s still 250 kph (155 mph).

The Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport Makes the Standard GTI Look Like a Girl's Car Interior
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A major change is the gearbox, as in you can’t have it with a manual.

The sole transmission choice is a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG paired to a limited-slip differential (of the electronically controlled ilk).

Power goes to the front wheels, obviously, so watch out Honda Civic Type R and Renault Megane R.S.

Moving on the the less obvious tweaks, the Clubsport also gets a new progressive steering rack, adaptive dampers (those are standard, by the way), and more camber for the front wheels. Oh, and spring rates have been adjusted too (up by 5 percent in the front and 15 percent in the rear), which means it’s now easier to point the car’s nose in and out of a corner and subsequently, the rear will follow more obediently.

The Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport Makes the Standard GTI Look Like a Girl's Car Exterior
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The car also sits 15 mm (0.6 inches) closer to the ground and the front brakes are beefier - the discs now measure 357 mm (14 inches) in diameter and they’re bit by two-piston calipers whenever you need to stop or slow down.

Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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