Volkswagen has used the massive Lake Wörthersee Volkswagen festival, starting today in southern Austria, to debut a new special edition of the GTI hot hatch. A 40th anniversary celebration for the GTI, the Clubsport S starts with a 2.0L turbocharged four that's based on the GTI TCR race car engine and ends with a front-wheel drive record breaking 7:49 lap on the Nürburgring.
The newest UberGolf makes 310 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. It can do 0-100 km/h in under six seconds. It weighs 1,363 kilos, 15 less than the lightest regular GTI. The 310 hp of the GTI Clubsport is 90 ponies more than the most potent GTI we get in Canada, but we do get some solace in the 292 hp, all-wheel drive Golf R. The Clubsport S gets adjustable damping, with Comfort, Normal, Race, and a special Nürburgring setting (designed specifically for that one track). The settings also adjust the engine map, steering weight, and the exhaust volume level. The suspension is modified to allow more negative camber, that big rear wing makes real downforce, and VW says that “understeer typical of front-wheel-drive cars is practically eliminated.”
The weight loss is thanks to removal of the rear seats, center arm rest, rear parcel shelf, some trunk trim and sound deadening, an aluminium front subframe a smaller battery and two-piece brake rotors. 235 profile Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires on 19-inch wheels add some weight back in, as does a strut tower brace and specially bolstered Clubsport S seats.
The GTI Clubsport S comes only in the three-door body, with a six-speed manual, and VW is only making 400 of them. VW says they'll be available world wide, which is only true if you don't count the US and Canada as part of the world. That's right. Another hot hatch we won't be getting here.