If you think they’ve celebrated 40 years of Golf with the GTI Clubsport, you’re wrong about Volkswagen. This is the Clubsport S. More power, no rear seats, which means it’s lighter, so it’s the special edition of the special edition. But what makes it so special then? Well, Volkswagen has only built 400 of these. Only 10 will come to the Netherlands, and they’ve all been sold except for one. And if you’re driving such a special Golf, you’ll want to know you’re driving one, so in front of the gear lever we can see which number this Golf’s got. We’re driving number 263 built out of the 400. And that’s always fun to mention, the fact you’re driving a very special Golf. When it comes to special editions, look no further than Germany. Take Porsche’s 911 for example… So where does the Clubsport S fit in? It’s basically the GT3 RS of Golf with the normal GT3 being the normal Clubsport. I didn’t mention the horsepower by the way. It’s got 310 hp, and that makes it the most powerful Golf ever. It’s the 2.0-litre TSI of course and it’s been tuned up to 310 hp.Also, it’s only available with a manual gearbox. And that makes the car lighter, because a DSG-transmission brings more weight. No, this car has been on a diet when compared to the normal Clubsport, and that means no rear seats. You do get a strut in the rear, which adds rigidity to the car. Only the most extreme hatchbacks featured something like that. The Mégane R26R, the Radicale, the Mini GP, the quick and brutal version of the first Mini. Very cool cars, each and every one. And Volkswagen want this car to become that as well! Of course, when you build a car like this, you should go for a timed lap on the Nürburgring, and that’s exactly what they’ve done in 2016. It did 7:49:19, the new front wheel drive record. So, it’s very very quick. Also, you can switch on Nürburgring-mode if you put the adaptive driving in Individual-mode.If you do that, everything will go in full racing mode. The steering, the throttle response, everything on sharp. One thing, however, won’t go into race mode: the dampers. That’s put on Comfort-mode. That’s because of the Nürburgring itself. A lot of differences in height, non-level bits on the road, ultra hard damping won’t come in handy, that’s for sure. So if you’ve engaged Nürburgring-mode, you can find out for yourself if you can get around the Ring that quickly. Of course, you won’t be able to do that being a normal
motorist and all. Speaking of normal motoring, I already noticed it last year when I tested the normal Clubsport with the Honda Civic Type R.It’s quite hard to be a daily driver. Those dampers were very stiff in the Clubsport, and the S is no exception. In what does the Clubsport S differ from the normal Clubsport as well? The power for example. It’s the same 2.0-litre TSI, but the normal Clubsport only puts out 265, and 290 with overboost in the third gear. This one always puts out 310 hp. It’s also got another exhaust system, and you can hear that.Release the throttle, get a few growls, people will absolutely hear you coming. It’s that typical ‘sound-engineering’-sound, like you’ll find on the Focus ST and RS. It’s a 4-cylinder engine which tries to sound like a 5-cylinder one. It’s great fun though and it does make the car special. Because, come on. If you buy a Golf as special as this, you want to experience a little bit more. It’s not bad in here as well.I did expect more sounds coming from the rear because there’s no damping done by a rear seat, but it’s really not that bad, not a lot of sounds coming from there. The sides aren’t badly done either, it’s not like you’re driving a stripped out racing car. I mentioned the Mini GP and Megane R26R earlier, those are hatchbacks I will never forget. But is this one of those cars that I won’t forget about? I mean, it’s not as special as the Golf Limited from the eighties, which got 210 hp and four-wheel drive. Only 71 were hand-built for Volkswagen Motorsport. But, I have to say. The normal Clubsport already made such an impact. It’s sharpness was amazing. I never drove such a sharp Golf GTI. It’s got a fanatic turn-in, which is very good, the rear goes a little bit but not too much, like you get in an old Focus RS or a Civic Type R, but this Clubsport S again adds a new dimension.It let’s you experience just a little bit more, it’s still very sharp, although it’s on winter tyres now, but this is a very feisty hatchback which you will look back to. You’ll remember driving this, limited to 400 units special Golf. That makes a car like this very special, almost magical. Right, you can’t buy one anymore, but it costs a little over €51,000. Clubsport S-drivers can now claim that they own the most powerful Golf ever, until the facelifted Golf R arrives, that is. That one will get 310 horsepower as well.But let’s face it, that one
will get four-wheel drive and DSG. Nope, this one is the most extreme Golf there ever was. .