While the all-wheel-drive Golf R is more expensive than the premium BMW M135i, Mercedes-AMG A35, and Audi S3 Sportback, the new Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport comes dangerously close to that niche.
Priced from £37,215 ($49,763) in the United Kingdom, where it’s already on sale, alongside the GTI, GTD, and GTE variants of the Golf Mk8, the new Golf GTI Clubsport undercuts the Golf R by £2,055 ($2,748) and the M135i by £470 ($628). It is also £3,755 ($5,021) pricier than the manual 2021 Golf GTI.
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Powering the new VW Golf GTI Clubsport is the familiar turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit, paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. The engine has been tuned to deliver 296 HP (300 PS / 221 kW) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque. That’s a 54 HP (55 PS / 40 kW) and 22 lb-ft (30 Nm) jump over the Golf GTI, which allows it to complete the 0 to 62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint in 5.6 seconds, before maxing out at 155 mph (250 km/h).
The “fastest-accelerating production Golf GTI in history”, as Volkswagen calls it, is also equipped with uprated brakes, front-axle locking differential, XDS electronic differential lock that reduces the risk of understeer and can be optimized with the optional Dynamic Chassis Control adaptive damping.
The exclusive front bumper, two-part rear spoiler that reduces lift over the rear axle, and enhanced diffuser with cutouts for the oval tailpipes further set it apart from the standard GTI. The Clubsport-specific ArtVelours seats inside, joined by the Discover Media navigation system and Digital Cockpit Pro, complete the offering.