Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S – Golf R-beating power from hottest GTI

Hottest Golf GTI yet will offer more power than the Golf R; could knock the Civic Type R from its Nurburgring perch

Volkswagen will use the Wörthersee show in Austria to show off its hottest-ever Golf GTI model, the new GTI Clubsport S.

Based on the soon-to-debut Golf GTI Clubsport – itself a hotter, more track-focused version of the standard GTI – the Clubsport S will out-punch Volkswagen’s current hottest Golf, the Golf R.

That means a 306bhp output – the only mechanical detail VW will confirm so far – from the ubiquitous 2-litre turbocharged EA888 power unit. By comparison, the Golf R makes 296bhp while the standard Clubsport puts 286bhp (in overboost) to its front wheels.

While the R has all-wheel drive, the Clubsport S will retain the GTI’s (and GTi Clubsport’s) front-wheel drive format.

The goal – and the other detail confirmed by VW – is a driving profile ‘set up for the Nurburgring’.

As such, it’s likely VW will aim for a new front-wheel drive lap record around the ‘Ring, topping cars like the Renaultsport Megane Trophy-R, SEAT Leon Cupra Sub8 and the current record-holder, the Honda Civic Type R.

evo drove the standard Golf GTI Clubsport last November, rating its speed and handling improvements over the regular GTI, but suggesting that some of its rivals are more entertaining on track.

If the new Clubsport S meets its goal, the Trophy-R, Civic Type R and Leon Sub8 may well have a new challenger on their hands in the excitement stakes.

The 2016 Wörthersee welcomes Volkswagens – and other VW Group products – and their owners from all over Europe, and begins on May 4th.

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