The new Golf GTi Clubsport is more powerful than the Golf R - the old one that is.
There it is, the new Golf GTi Clubsport, the most potent factory-made Golf GTi ever, but to be honest, the world premiere of this car only makes us excited about the 2022 Golf R because if the Clubsport is this good, the yet to be unveiled Golf R will surely blow our socks off!
Before we get into that, let's check out what the Golf GTi Clubsport has on offer. With the world premiere of the new Golf GTi Clubsport, Volkswagen says it is writing the next chapter of the successful Golf story.
The Clubsport which is powered by an even more agile turbocharged engine (EA888 evo4) has a power output of 300 PS and 400Nm of torque and according to VW, comes with "Outstanding driving dynamics".
Designed for the legendary Nordschleife track in Germany, the Golf GTi Clubsport marks a new milestone for driving dynamics among front-wheel-drive sports cars, as it comes with a tweaked seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and locking differential found on the Golf GTi.
A medium between street and race track the Clubsport model has a specific driving profile called Nürburgring, where it alters a number of parameters to make the hatchback as quick as possible around the Green Hell. From the specs, it does seem fast, but to prove itself it has to take the throne from the track's front-wheel-drive king, which is currently the Renault Megane RS.
If it doesn't, it'll at least look the part as its custom front end is very striking. The bumper looks almost open at the bottom – only the radiator grille trim with the honeycomb design typical for GTi models and the larger aerodynamic wings offer resistance to the headwind. At the rear, the two-part roof spoiler catches the eye, which is a unique hallmark feature reserved exclusively for the Golf GTi Clubsport. The front spoiler and rear wing are much more than just design features – they significantly increase the downforce on the sports car says VW.
The Golf GTi Clubsport rolls off the production line in Wolfsburg with 18-inch alloy wheels fitted as standard. A unique diffuser, lowered stance, and wider side sills add to its menacing looks. Another new feature: oval tailpipes replace the round version in the sports exhaust system, with one tailpipe placed at the opposite end of the bumper.
Seems all impressive, but this is more of a car that needs a precision driver in order for it to be the best it can be. The Clubsport has always been like that, which is why it is more of a toy than anything, which is why we can think of three reasons why a normal GTi and a Golf R would be better cars for the everyday driver.
1. The platform and engine
It's well known that people buy Golf GTi's for its engine and platform. They are highly tune-able which have seen immense figures of power being extracted from its versatile powerplant. With a few simple modifications, GTi's all the way back to the Mk5 could achieve 300Ps and 400Nm of torque. Yes, the locking differential is something new, but a well-tuned chassis doesn't need fancy bits for it to be great and many have perfected the chassis through smart modifications.
2. The 2022 Golf R
The 2022 Golf R would probably be a much better car for all types of drivers. Not mentioning the obvious advantage of All-Wheel-Drive, the 2022 Golf R which is rumoured to come with 333PS can possibly reach 400PS with minimal tuning. 400PS to all four wheels will always be better than sending them solely to the front wheels. Any car with a Nurburgring association will always be a crap road car so why not just stick with a Golf R which has been made for real-world driving and take it from there.
3. Neither here nor there
Being labelled as a car that sits between the Golf GTi and Golf R will always make the Clubsport a neither here nor there car. It's not an AWD vehicle nor is it a car that is immensely more powerful than a 2021 GTi. Except for the bodykit and lowered body, we can't really see any real advantage of it - in Malaysia anyways. Most GTi owners here would instantly Stage 1 their cars which will make it nearly as powerful as the Clubsport. They would also upgrade the suspension and voila, a homemade Clubsport.
Any fans of the Clubsport out there? We want to hear why you would buy the Clubsport over the standard GTi or Golf R.