Boasting 305 horsepower, the Golf GTI Clubsport S is Volkswagen’s most powerful version of the GTI straight from the factory. With German race car driver, Benny Leuchter at the wheel, the hot hatch from Wolfsburg broke the existing Nürburgring Nordschleife lap record for front-wheel drive production cars with a time of 7 minutes, 49.21 seconds. A lap time fast enough to make the top 100 list and more than 2 seconds faster than a BMW M4.
The Clubsport S is a special edition model of the Clubsport and limited to a production of only 400 examples that will be delivered worldwide. The specially tuned 2.0-liter TSI engine will dash from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 162 mph. Curb weight has been reduced to 2,833 pounds. Increasing the car’s agility is a configurable Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) and a driving profile selector.
Weight savings were accomplished largely by eliminating the rear seats, noise dampening insulation, variable-height trunk floor, the rear parcel shelf, and floor mats. Additional pounds were shed by using an aluminum subframe for the front suspension and the use of aluminum brake covers.
Subtle changes to the body are new front bumpers, unique to the Clubsport and Clubsport S, that allow more airflow to the engine and improve front aerodynamics and downforce. The roof-edge spoiler — shaped by wind tunnel testing — is significantly larger and applies additional rear downforce. In conjunction with a rear diffuser, this two-part rear wing generates more downforce on the rear axle than on the front axle. Thereby eliminating understeer that is typical of front-wheel-drive cars.
The driver and the front seat passenger sit in racing bucket seats that provide a high degree of lateral support. Other distinctive features include the iconic golf ball shifter knob with Alcantara trim, a red line in the safety belts, “Honeycomb 40” design decals on the dashboard and doors, and elegant Piano Black accents. The extremely grippy Alcantara-trimmed sport steering wheel, which has a chrome GTI emblem, red stitching and the 12-o’clock position marked out, was designed to be ergonomically perfect for the track.
In this TFLcar performance review, a 2016 VW Golf GTI is tested against a Mk6 GTI before and after applying a Stage 1 Cobb Tuning flash upgrade.