It's a wonderful time to be a Volkswagen fan right about now. The GTI is celebrating its 40th anniversary, throwing parties left and right featuring some of its newest models and most revered classics.
But what is arguably the best part of the whole birthday bash is the string of variants that have been released by the German carmaker to commemorate the occasion. There’s the Golf GTI Clubsport, the Golf TCR and now the Golf GTI Clubsport S. The last one is truly special in that it is the most powerful model to be offered with the GTI badge.
The Clubsport S has been endowed with an arsenal of go-fast and weight-saving goodies to assure it stands a cut above the already desirable standard model. First off, it receives exterior features such as bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires, and upgraded brakes.
Also of significance is the vehicle's reduced weight achieved by removing the rear seats, ditching the variable-height trunk floor insulation, using a smaller battery and sacrificing various sound-deadening bits around the vehicle. All this makes for weight savings of around 30kg, bringing the total dry weight to approximately 1,287kg--a featherweight in its class.
This helps greatly in bringing out the most of the potent 2.0-liter TSI engine's muscle. Thanks to tweaks to the ECU and exhaust systems, the little lump now puts out 310hp and 380Nm. The manual gearbox allows the car to race from rest to 100kph in a quick 5.8 seconds, and hit a top speed of 260kph. Besides straight-line speed, the Golf GTI Clubsport S has a special setting that is tuned specifically for laps around the Nurburgring. Found within the Individual mode of the driver profile selector, the exclusive drive mode brings out the best of the car while it tackles one of the world’s most demanding courses.
Volkswagen didn’t just wow the world with press talk, though. The new Golf GTI variant actually set a record lap time of 7 minutes, 49.21 seconds. That time makes it the fastest front-wheel-drive production car to ever race the Ring to date.
Designers capped things off with a honeycomb-designed 40th birthday decals on the dashboard and the doors, an Alcantara-trimmed sports steering wheel with chrome GTI badging, and the famous golf-ball shifter.
The Golf GTI Clubsport S can only be had by a select few--some 400 lucky individuals, to be precise. Each one will wear a badge that bears the car’s exact series-production number that will be mounted on the front center console. It's little details like these that make the Golf GTI the world's favorite hot hatch.