The 296-HP Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport Still Isn’t Coming to the US



Volkswagen is adding extra spice to its quintessential hot hatch. The new GTI Clubsport, based on the facelifted GTI, inherits the updated lights from Wolfsburg’s regular Grand Touring Injection. The more potent derivative gets a different front bumper and a chunky rear spoiler. It also features larger Quadrifoglio-esque 18-inch wheels or an optional 19-inch set.

The gap in power between the two has narrowed with the release of the Mk8.5 models. While the standard GTI has earned an extra 20 horsepower for a total of 261 horses, the Clubsport continues to make 296 hp. The remaining 35-hp difference is still relevant, though, plus there’s also a 22 lb-ft advantage for the hotter version. As before, track-ready Golf packs 295 lb-ft of torque.

Much like its predecessor, the revised Golf GTI Clubsport comes exclusively with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. The new regular GTI gets the same DSG, for the without a manual gearbox alternative, as VW dropped the stick shift with this mid-cycle facelift. It’s worth noting that during the Mk7 generation, the Clubsport was offered with three pedals.


While the lesser GTI flavor takes 5.9 seconds to hit 62 mph, its stickered-up cousin does the job in 5.6 seconds. Both are electronically capped at 155 mph, but the Clubsport gets an optional Race Package that loosens up the limiter to 167 mph. That package also comes with a beefier Akrapovič exhaust. Step up to the hardcore GTI variant and VW will sweeten the deal with chunkier brakes. In addition, the car also gets a special mode for the Sport driving profile to further sharpen things up.

Both models come as standard with a limited-slip differential and progressive steering, plus optional adaptive Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC). Inside, the dynamic duo shares an enlarged 12.9-inch touchscreen for the new and improved infotainment system, or so VW says. As with the regular Golf, the touch sliders are finally illuminated. There’s more good news to share as the steering wheel reverts to regular buttons instead of capacitive keys.

The new Clubsport celebrates its public debut this week at the Nürburgring 24 Hours before going on sale in Europe later this year. A Volkswagen spokesperson confirmed to Motor1 that like the last Clubsport, this new model won’t be sold in America.


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