Despite the onslaught of SUVs and the rising tide of EVs, the hot hatch market right now is as exciting now as it’s ever been and one of the newest entrants into the segment is the VW Golf GTI Clubsport, which promises to be a significant upgrade over the standard model.
While the Golf is now in its eighth generation, some recent reviews of the GTI have suggested that it doesn’t really feel like much of an upgrade over the Mk7 model. It is also massively underpowered compared to its rivals – and that’s where the GTI Clubsport comes in.
Driving the Clubsport is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 296 hp and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm), significant gains over the 242 hp and 273 lb-ft (370 Nm) of the standard GTI. Coupled to this engine is a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission powering the front wheels, allowing the VW to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in less than 6 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h).
In addition to being more powerful than the standard GTI, the Clubsport is fitted with a VAQ electomechanical locking front differential. It also has increased camber at the front, a new control arm mount at the rear, new wheel mounts, bespoke damper bearings, and new springs.
This comprehensive review from Autogefühl provides a detailed tour of both the exterior and interior of the car, which is also taken out to the street and put to the test. The roads were very cold and covered in a light dusting of snow, though, making it hard to test the car’s handling. Nevertheless, it’s a review well worth watching.