German hot hatch destroys its own lap record

Life can be a little boring when you already own the front-wheel drive lap record at the Nürburgring. So when you’re at the top, the only way you can go a little higher is when you take a stab at your own record. Lo and behold, the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S did just that when it went back to the ‘Ring to upend its own record.

Taking full advantage of ideal weather conditions (46°F) back in late October, the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S put in a scintillating lap time of 7:47.19, eclipsing its previous record of 7:49.21 by more than two seconds. Not only did it smash its own record, but it also extended its lead over the Honda Civic Type R, which held the record with a lap time of 7:50.63 before the Golf ran roughshod over it during its initial run at the Green Hell. Do some calculations and the Golf GTI Clubsport S’ new lap record is 3.44 seconds faster than the Civic Type R.

The new lap time is made more impressive when you line it up against the overall lap times around the 13-mile race track. With this lap time, the Golf GTI Clubsport S positions itself between the Lamborghini Murcielago LP-640 and the BMW M3 GTS, two performance cars that know their own business around the Nürburgring.

At the very least, the VW hot hatch just made it a lot more difficult for other front-wheel drive cars to break its new lap record. Not that it would’ve been easy to do with the old record, but now, the German automaker can take comfort knowing that it’s lap record is going to be as safe as can get, at least for the time being.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Is there a car that can bump the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S out of its lofty perch?

When you look at the current landscape of front-wheel drive production cars, it’s hard to find a car that can compete against the Golf Clubsport GT. The Honda Civic Type R would probably be the closest competitor, but the high-powered Golf already has the Civic Type R’s number. It’s not even a contest unless Honda beefs up its own hatchback to give some extra juice. It’s unlikely but we all know how proud these automakers are, especially when it comes to setting world records.

The upcoming Ford Fiesta ST280 could also make a case, but it’s already at a power disadvantage if the car’s output falls below 300 horsepower. The ST280 name might even allude to the car generating 280PS, or about 276 horsepower. That’s not going to cut it against the Golf Clubsport GT’s Nürburgring lap time. It could make it interesting though and it’s a lap time that Volkswagen should pay careful attention to when the Blue Oval brings the FWD hot hatch to the ‘Ring.

The one hot hatch I thought had the chops to make the Golf GTI Clubsport S sweat was the Renault Clio RS16, the subcompact super hatch that was pegged to carry the same 2.0-liter turbo four engine of its big brother, the Renault Megane R.S. 275 Trophy-R. The Clio RS16 would’ve generated just 271 horsepower, but given its smaller size and lighter weight, it certainly had a good chance of making a run at the Golf GTI Clubsport S’ Nürburgring lap record.

But alas, Renault decided to shelve production of the car in favor of focusing its full attention on the development of the Alpine A120 sports car. There’s a possibility that the Clio RS16 could still be produced down the road, but for now, the Volkswagen hot hatch’s new lap record around the Nürburgring appears to be safe.

Read our full review on the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S here.

Source: YouTube - Volkswagen

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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