Volkswagen Unveils 295 HP FWD Golf GTI Clubsport

Look at how angry it looks! It ought to, because it’s got some pretty ludicrous power running through the front wheels. Thanks to the EA888 Evo4 engine under its hood, the Mk8 Golf GTI Clubsport now makes 295 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

To make is all work through the front wheels, VW has, for the first time ever, hooked up its front locking diff to the vehicle dynamics manager. If you’ll recall from Top Gear’s review, that’s the system that acts as a central brain to process all of the dynamics information coming from the car’s many sensors. Previously, systems like the ABS, the traction control, the steering sensors, etc had all had their own little brain, acting independently to make decisions. Like how an octopus has brains for each of its tentacles. Now, though, the GTI is more like a human, with a single brain controlling all of the systems. 

That’s important because a little bit of slip in a sporting scenario can be fun, and if the car knows everything that’s going on, it can decide to let you slide a bit. The locking diff will also be important, so as not to allow the Clubsport to go plowing through corners with ludicrous understeer or torque steer.

“Networking all driving dynamics systems means that the new Golf GTI Clubsport handles even more neutrally and precisely than the classic Golf GTI. For the legendary Nordschleife track, we have also programmed a new Nürburgring profile, which specifically adapts the running gear components in the new Golf GTI Clubsport to this race track.”

That aggressive front grille also has a front spoiler incorporated in it, which, in concert with the rear wing, will help provide downforce through the faster corners. The whole car has also been lowered by 10 mm (a third of an inch) and the side sills have been widened. Taking a cue (or some parts) from Audi Sport, the Clubsport now also has oval tailpipes on either side of the rear. 

Inside, the seats are made out of a Zapp Brannigan-approved ArtVelours, which VW says help keep you in place when you’re using that vehicle dynamics system. Unfortunately, you’re unlikely to get a Golf Ball shifter because the Clubsport S comes as standard with a DSG 7-speed. I suppose it makes sense since this is supposed to be a track weapon.

No word yet on US-availability but we crucially haven’t heard anyone specifically say it won’t arrive in the US (and we plan on sticking our fingers in our ears and shouting “LALALALALALA” if they do), so hope springs eternal.