I will not lie when I say that this reveal came as a shocker to me as I thought the GTI Clubsport was a once-off thing. The spy shots where a GTI with an aggressive body kit seen testing gave me the idea that there would be a next-generation TCR version but it turned out to be a reincarnation of one of the most liked GTI versions ever made. In 2016, Volkswagen dropped the special edition Golf 7 GTI Clubsport to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the iconic GTI badge. It makes sense that this Clubsport will be sold as a 2021 model which should mark the 45th anniversary next year.

Performance

To make it a distinct addition to the GTI range, the new one went through the standard procedure of being thoroughly tested at the Nordschleife racetrack to set up everything right. 221 kW going to the front-wheels only demands precise management of power delivery and that is why they aided Vehicle Dynamics Manager. This system simultaneously adjusts the Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), which is optional, and the electronic differential locks (XDS) to provide an agile driving feel and giving the driver the confidence to corner at high speeds.

And as we are mentioning speed, the 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder codenamed “EA888 evo4” has been tweaked to produce sufficient power output with 400 Nm of torque at disposal. The power is shifted through a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, quick enough to deliver a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 5.9 seconds and it tops out at 250 km/h. The whole package makes sense and it should give the desired driving enjoyment people have come to love on the GTI.

Design

Overall, the appearance is much more aggressive and it distinguishes itself from the normal variant and that is noticeable straight away just by looking at the front design. The radiator grille sports the traditional honeycomb grill which runs even lower and closer to the front bumper spoiler, it further extends and joins the side air intakes. The LED daytime running strip light is next to the red GTI strip to give the design more presence. Moving to the side you will notice that the car is lower, 10 millimetres lower to be exact for a sportier look and it comes as standard with 18-inch Adelaide alloy wheels. 

The rear end is dominated by the two-part roof spoiler and it is exclusively offered on the Clubsport but my guess is that people will manage to fit this on the standard Golf GTI with aftermarket parts. This wing works in correlation with the rest of the body’s added aero kits to provide downforce, so these components are not there just for show. The rear diffuser looks aggressive coupled with the sports exhaust tailpipes that take on an oval shape transitioning from the circular shape.

Interior

The premium sport seats in ArtVelour are guaranteed to grip you tight at high cornering speeds as they have mentioned and they look really good as well. The steering wheel has been designed to be sporty and feel that way with perforated grip zones. The aluminium pedals are an addition to uplift the interior glance and provide that type of atmosphere for the driver.

“With its enhanced turbocharged engine, new fully connected gear, and the brand new Nurburgring driving profile designed for the legendary Nordschleife track in Germany, the Golf GTI Clubsport marks a new milestone for driving dynamics among front-wheel-drive sports cars”, this statement is by Volkswagen talking about the new Golf 8 GTI Clubsport and it suggests that this will bring the much-needed satisfaction to the fanboys and we trust them on that.

It is yet to be confirmed whether South Africans will get to see this at showrooms and also if it will be produced in limited numbers.

Source: New Golf GTI Clubsport press release