German hot hatch gets even more ferocious

The Volkswagen Golf VII GTI Clubsport S made headlines in April 2016 for breaking the Nürburgring lap record for a front-wheel drive car when it posted a time of 7:49.21, besting the Honda Civic Type R’s time by 1.4 seconds. It was an impressive achievement that didn’t go unnoticed by aftermarket tuner Speed-Buster, which is now offering a tuning program for the less-powerful Golf VII GTI Clubsport with the promise of bringing its output up to 326 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque, head and shoulders clear of the output of the “S” version.

While I’m off the belief that Speed Buster should have developed a similar program for the Golf VII GTI Clubsport S, I can’t complain about what it was able to do for the standard model. With the resulting power under its hood, the Speed-Buster-tuned Golf VII GTI Clubsport is not only more powerful than the standard S version, it also clears past the Golf R, thus establishing itself as a bonafide hot hatch on wheels.

The only caveat to this program is that it’s strictly made up of an engine tune. That means that it has no exterior and interior upgrades, no suspension modifications, and no new set of wheels. But where it lacks in those sections, those who are interested in the engine tune should take comfort knowing that they’re getting a legitimately more powerful Golf VII GTI Clubsport without having to burn too many holes in their wallets.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

  • 2016 Volkswagen Golf VII GTI Clubsport by Speed-Buster
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    326
  • Torque @ RPM:
    306
  • Top Speed:
    170 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Drivetrain

2016 Volkswagen Golf VII GTI Clubsport by Speed-Buster High Resolution Exterior
- image 689303

There’s a belief among Volkswagen Golf fans that the standard, 265-horsepower Golf GTI Clubsport could use an extra shot of power to get it up to the neighborhood of its big brother, the Golf GTI Clubsport S. Speed-Buster’s program for the “standard” Golf GTI Clubsport features a vehicle-specific, plug-and-play Chiptuning-Box that not only alters the data from the engine sensors, but also remaps them the information straight to the engine control unit. This process results in an increased output of 326 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque, pushing the Golf GTI Clubsport’s output well past the 292 horses of the Golf R and within touching distance of the Golf GTI Clubsport S and its 310-horsepower output. Speed-Buster didn’t specify the performance improvements attached to the program, but if it’s on part with the S version of the Golf GTI Clubsport, a sprint time in the mid-five seconds is a possibility, as is a top speed of about 170 mph.

Of particular importance, at least for those who do end up buying the program from Speed-Buster, is that the Golf GTI Clubsport’s overcast function is unaffected by the kit. That leaves the door open for drivers to continue using this short-term feature in situations that call for it. Likewise, the factory engine protection protocols of the turbocharged four-cylinder engine also remain intact despite the conversion and that a two-year engine warranty comes with the kit.

Price

The Chiptuning-Box comes with a price of just €549. That converts to $613 based on current exchange rates. For an extra €50 ($56), customers can get an app that can control the kit from a smartphone.

Competition

Volkswagen Golf Club Sport GTI By ABT Sportsline

2016 Volkswagen Golf Club Sport GTI by ABT Sportsline
- image 686492

When you’re looking for a tuning program that rivals that of what Speed-Buster is offering for the Volkswagen Golf VII GTI Clubsport, the first tuner you go to is the one that has made a career out of building aftermarket kits for the German automaker: ABT Sportsline. Just last month, ABT introduced a new program for the Golf VII GTI Clubsport that injected a fresh pack of extra power into the hot hatch’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The tuner accomplished that by using its New Generation tuning module, which is responsible for bringing the engine’s total output to 340 horsepower and 318 pound-feet of torque. ABT didn’t specify how the extra power translates into the car’s performance, but it wouldn’t be presumptuous to think that the Golf VII GTI Clubsport could sprint from 0 to 60 mph in a little over four seconds to go with a top speed in that’s in the vicinity of 170 mph.

Read more about the Volkswagen Golf Club Sport GTI By ABT Sportsline here.

Volkswagen Golf VII R 4MOTION by MTM

2014 Volkswagen Golf 7 R 4Motion By MTM High Resolution Exterior
- image 550829

Okay, so this isn’t a program for the limited edition Golf GTI Clubsport, but the Golf R is just as impressive, maybe even more so since it’s the range-topping version of the entire Golf family. Whatever the case may be, there are no shortages of aftermarket kits available for the Golf R, one of which comes by way of MTM. Just like ABT Sportsline, MTM’s kit for the Golf R revolves around its M-Cantronic module, which is responsible for bringing the car’s total output to 360 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers allow it to hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds if the Golf R comes with a DSG transmission. There’s no increase in top speed so expect it to remain at 155 mph.

Find out more about the Volkswagen Golf VII R 4MOTION by MTM here.

Conclusion

2016 Volkswagen Golf VII GTI Clubsport by Speed-Buster High Resolution Exterior
- image 689302

There aren’t that many programs available for the Volkswagen Golf VII GTI Clubsport so when one comes along, it’s better to make the most out of it. This kit by Speed-Buster doesn’t provide any upgrades on anything other than the engine, but for the price of that Chiptuning-Box module and the results it can provide, I’d say it’s worth paying for what you’re getting.

  • Leave it
    • * Not much else other than the engine tune
    • * Power gains could be bigger
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