Order books have opened for the new special edition Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport - with prices starting at £30,875 OTR.
Marking the hot hatch's 40th birthday this year, Volkswagen has created the most potent iteration of the GTI to date, with 290 PS and a 0-62 mph time of 6.3 seconds.
The GTI Clubsport features a completely new front bumper design, new side sills, a new rear diffuser, a multi-part roof spoiler and exclusive forged alloy wheels. The new front end design offers improvements in air supply to the engine, aerodynamics and downforce. The bumper includes high-gloss black air deflectors which direct a portion of the airflow – guided by three additional bars – through a narrowing air duct (air curtain), optimising air flow around the bumper and front wheels. The central cooling air intake – in GTI honeycomb design – has also been further refined with two additional air intakes flanking the radiator grille trim. Beneath the bumper there is a front spoiler that is designed as a sharp splitter in high-gloss black which optimises downforce at the front axle.
At the rear, the much larger, multi-part redesigned roof edge spoiler has been aerodynamically honed in the wind tunnel. The two-part roof edge spoiler extends upward above the roof line while at the sides the spoiler merges into the high-gloss black flaps on the tailgate. Multi-part spoilers of this type are described as complex components that ‘significantly increase downforce’ on the rear axle.
Powering the new addition to the GTI range is a 2.0-litre turbocharged direct-injection engine that delivers 265 PS, making it the most powerful Golf GTI yet. Accelerate hard in third gear or higher and, for up to 10 seconds, an additional ‘overboost’ function increases the engine power to 290 PS.
Based on the 1,984 cc TSI engine borrowed from the Golf R, the special edition’s power unit features technical refinements such as a water-cooled exhaust channel to the turbocharger that is integrated in the cylinder head, and variable valve timing with dual camshaft adjustment and maximum torque, under boost, is 350 Nm.
This power is channelled entirely to the front wheels via either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed DSG. The lightweight front-wheel drive system that is typical of the Golf GTI offers ‘tremendous agility’, working in conjunction with an electronically controlled front differential lock and the XDS+ vehicle dynamics function.
The DSG version of the car is also equipped with launch control as standard. Similar to the a track racer, the Golf GTI Clubsport Edition 40 – which boasts an unladen weight of as little as 1,375 kg, depending on bodystyle – accelerates in a controlled manner from standstill using its maximum overboost power of up to 290 PS.
Top speed is limited to 155 mph and the 0-62 mph time for both three- and five-door versions – either manual or DSG – is the aforementioned 6.3 seconds. CO2 emissions range between 158 g/km and 162 g/km depending on bodystyle and transmission choice, while combined fuel economy similarly varies between 40.9 mpg and 40.4 mpg.
Equipped with a sport chassis, including a 15 mm lower ride height as standard, MacPherson suspension up front provides ‘precise tracking’ with the modular performance suspension doing the same job at the rear. Handling characteristics have been ‘perfected’, says VW, by virtue of a new spring layout, newly tuned dampers and optimised bump stops.
Power is transferred to the road via standard-fit 18-inch alloy wheels with 225/40 tyres. These exclusive “Quaranta” forged wheels are nearly 3 kg lighter per wheel than conventional alloys. Optionally, the GTI Clubsport Edition 40 may be ordered with 19-inch “Brescia “ alloy wheels with 235/35 tyres.
On the inside, the new car features iconic details such as the gear knob in golf ball design, ergonomic sports seats with a tailor-made look, featuring Alcantara and black cloth upholstery, red topstitching and a black headliner.
New trim strips in “Honeycomb 40” design (instrument strip, centre console and doors) give the interior an 'even more exclusive appearance'. Sporty decorative features include Alcantara trim on the gear lever, an Alcantara-clad sport steering wheel (with GTI emblem, red seam and 12 o’clock marking) and customised floor mats with red edging. When the driver and front passenger open the doors, they see the exclusive stainless steel door sill plates with red GTI lettering.
The anniversary model is being offered with optional black painted roof which is combined with one of the body colours: Pure White; Tornado Red; Oryx White mother of pearl effect; Reflex Silver; Carbon Grey Metallic; or Urano Grey. A solid colour Deep Black pearl effect is also available.
Production of the new Golf GTI Clubsport Edition 40 is time limited, and it is expected that no more than 1,000 examples will be made available to UK buyers. Available to order now, first customer deliveries are expected this summer.