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Women's Month: The Golf GTI Clubsport from a female perspective

16.08.2016

Forty (mostly glorious) years have elapsed since the first Volkswagen Golf GTI rolled off the line and to commemorate this milestone, the Wolfsburg-based firm has taken a standard GTI and turned the wick up in all departments. As good as the Golf GTI is, it’s not perfect. It may offer an excellent blend of performance and everyday usability, but it doesn’t offer the exhilaration/driver involvement of a track-oriented product. Isn’t a hot hatch supposed to be thoroughly enthralling and rival a sportscar for entertainment value, but at a fraction of the asking price?

Enter the Clubsport. It’s essentially a heavily revised Volkswagen Golf GTI, but, based on its appearance, it will require a dedicated petrolhead to tell the difference between the former and a standard GTI. Note the rear spoiler, which is not just for show: it generates additional rear downforce to aid road holding. Similarly, the front bumper features aerodynamic mods that help push the nose down for additional grip. We’d swear the exhaust tips are fractionally larger than the standard car’s, too.

The serious changes have occurred under the sheet metal, where various upgrades to the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine sees the motor’s outputs climb to 195 kW and 350 Nm. There’s also an overboost function that will see the engine produce as much as 213 kW and 380 Nm for ten seconds. The Clubsport’s suspension has also been revamped with retuned dampers and a new spring configuration, while the XDS+ electronic limited-slip differential receives a bespoke setup. The steering has been revised as well — it’s claimed to turn in sharper with less input. Finally, the newcomer sits 15 mm closer to the road (than a standard GTI) forextra handling ability.

Performance?

Volkswagen claims the GTI Clubsport will reach 100 km/h from standstill in 5.9 seconds, which is deeply impressive. What’s more, a blistering standing start is easy to execute: dial in launch control, hold the brake, mash the accelerator pedal to the end of its travel, and release the brake. Initially, the front wheels scrabble somewhat, but once they grip, the Clubsport shifts to second gear and a mighty surge of torque ensues. If you’re not prepared for it, that sudden lump of torque comes as a (very welcome) surprise. The over boost function is available from 4th gear and up 

There’s a fire storm, never felt like this before, there’s a fire storm that is you

Article written by Ziphorah Masethe
16.08.2016
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