Instead of fast Renaults and Seats, Volkswagen had to beat the Honda Civic Type R’s record this time, and with 305 horsepower on tap, their new GTI Clubsport S delivered, proving that a two-seater Golf can be very fast. VW claims it’s now the quickest front-wheel drive car around the legendary Nürburgring.
The GTI Clubsport S is a limited edition of 400 cars, with Germany getting 100 and America getting none. It weighs 2,832 pounds (EU unladen), and since its 2.0-liter TSI motor is now producing 305 horsepower and 225 foot-pounds between 1,700 and 5,300 rpm, it’s capable of lapping the Nürburgring at 07:49:21 on a sunny day driven by a professional racing driver called Benny Leuchter.
Running on 19 inch semi-slick tires, the Clubsport S also comes with a Nürburgring mode as well as Comfort, Normal and Race, which basically sets the sound, the engine and the steering to Race while keeping the Dynamic Chassis Control in Comfort. Because the ‘Ring is bumpy. Very bumpy.
Top speed is 164 mph with the 0-60mph sprint taking 5.8 seconds. On your way there, the car will also do huge backfires thanks to a new exhaust with 65mm tailpipes instead of the standard Clubsport’s 55mms and a bigger cross-section reducing backpressure.
The Golf GTI Clubsport S will only be available with a six-speed manual, in Tornado Red, Pure White and Deep Black, with the roof painted black on the red and white ones (unlike on those pre-production cars you see in the pictures.) Kind of nice that a car with a traditional stick shift made the ‘Ring run.
With its tricky suspension, variable degree locking differential and motorsport-inspired ESP settings, it’s quite the GTI, for two.