Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport Improves on the MkVIII GTI’s Formula

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Another day, another Golf variant Volkswagen has no plans to ship to the United States. It’s true that Volkswagen will grace us with the eighth-generation Golf GTI, but the brand won’t send us the even hotter GTI Clubsport. (The run-of-the-mill Golf and Golf wagon will also not make the journey to the U.S. ).

Like the GTI on which it’s based, the Clubsport relies on a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine for motivation. However, it now produces more than 50 extra horses. With just shy of 300 hp and a standard seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the front-drive Clubsport promises to trim even more fat from the lesser GTI’s acceleration times.

Further assisting the Clubsport’s performance bent is a new “Nürburgring” drive mode designed for making the most of the hot hatch’s performance capabilities on the near-13-mile German track—and, presumably, other tracks as well. Additionally, the car’s electronic limited-slip differential is integrated with the vehicle dynamics system. 

Denoting the Clubsport’s more dynamic nature are a number of model-specific styling details, including a more aggressive lower fascia, split rear wing, racier rear diffuser with oval exhaust tips, wider side sills, an attractive set of 18-inch wheels, and a 0.4 inch reduction in ride height. In other words, the Clubsport looks like a subtly sportier GTI.

Not that it matters to us Yanks, anyway. For now, we will simply have to look at this piece of forbidden fruit from afar. Hopefully, some miles behind the wheel of the 2022 Golf GTI and forthcoming Golf R will help us forget about the Golf GTI Clubsport’s existence.



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