The exclusive Golf GTI Clubsport S has arrived in South Africa. The limited edition Golf GTI Clubsport S with 228kW of power is only available as a two-door body variant and with two-seats.
The most powerful Golf GTI ever holds the lap record for a front wheel drive production cars on the Nürburgring Nordschleife race track with the time of 07:49:21.
Only 400 units have been built and 47 of them were allocated to South Africa. South Africa is one of the biggest markets of the Golf GTI in the world. All of the 47 units were pre sold by the Volkswagen dealer organisation turning the Golf GTI Clubsport S into an instant icon and collectors’ item.
The South African units are only offered in Pure White with the roof painted in black.
Nürburgring setting. The Golf GTI Clubsport S comes with a setting for the Nürburgring Nordschleife race track which can be set using the standard Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) driving profile selector.
Weight reduction. To keep the weight down, the Golf GTI Clubsport S is only available in a manual transmission. Additional components that were removed to reduce weight include rear seats, insulating material, the variable luggage compartment floor, the rear parcel shelf and bonnet damping. A smaller battery is fitted to reduce the weight further down. An aluminium subframe on the front axle and aluminium brake covers resulted in further weight savings.
Exterior specifications. The most exclusive Golf GTI has the following exterior details: semi-slicks (Michelin Sport Cup 2) mounted on 19-inch black painted “Pretoria” alloy wheels, tinted rear windows (65 per cent light-absorbing), “Clubsport S” type plates, the black painted roof as well as Xenon headlights with cornering lights and LED daytime running lights. The 17-inch brake system has been modified to enhance stability on racing circuits, to withstand the high temperatures of the brake components. An important factor for the car’s dynamic handling is that the unsprung mass of each wheel is a whole kilogram lower thanks to the aluminium brake covers. To further improve the hot braking performance, the Golf GTI Clubsport S is factory-fitted with special brake pads on the front and rear axles.
Interior specifications. Each of the 400 Golf GTI Clubsport S units have its production number (001/400 to 400/400) on the ashtray cover beneath the front centre console. The driver and the front seat passenger sit in racing bucket seats that provide the necessary lateral support. Also on board are the GTI insignia featured in the standard Golf GTI Clubsport, including the iconic golf ball gear knob with Velour trim, a red line in the safety belts, “Honeycomb 40” decorative inserts for the dashboard (passenger side) and door trim panels as well as elegant inserts in “Piano Black” for the dashboard (driver side) and centre console. The grippy Velour-trimmed sport steering wheel with a chrome GTI emblem, red stitching and 12-o’clock mark has been ergonomically designed for optimal performance on the racetrack.
Aerodynamics. The aerodynamics and the associated downforce values of Golf GTI Clubsport S are similar to the Golf GTI Clubsport with 195kW power output. Both derivatives – are characterised by completely new front bumpers. The new design offers improvements in air supply to the engine, aerodynamics and downforce at the front. At the rear, the roof-edge spoiler that was aerodynamically perfected in the wind tunnel for optimised aerodynamics. There is a narrow air gap between the roof area, that is completely black, and the wing-like spoiler placed above it. The two-part roof edge spoiler extends upward above the roof line. At the sides, the spoiler merges into the black flaps on the boot lid. Multi-part spoilers of this type are complex components that perfectly fulfil the aerodynamic tasks assigned to them: to significantly increase downforce on the rear axle. A black rear diffuser is also included in this design and aerodynamics concept. To fine-tune the Clubsport versions to give them extra stability, the aerodynamics measures generate more downforce on the rear axle than on the front axle. This boost in driving stability, especially on the rear axle, is used to fine-tune the chassis to make for a smoother ride. In the case of the Golf GTI Clubsport S this means that the understeer so typical of front-wheel-drive cars is practically eliminated.
Chassis. The new Golf GTI Clubsport S has a special sport chassis. The chassis engineers also reconfigured both of the axles of the Golf GTI Clubsport S. For example in the rear axle, the modular performance axle has been given extra potential for directional control to achieve higher lateral accelerations. But without altering the McPherson front axle this would result in greater understeer. As Karsten Schebsdat, the chassis expert, explains: “To neutralise the understeer and at the same time boost grip levels, we counteracted understeer on the front axle and specially designed the hub carriers”, resulting in higher camber angles. The negative camber increases the potential for directional control, thus optimising the grip on the front axle. The Clubsport S is characterised by similarly good balance to the standard Clubsport, even at higher levels of lateral acceleration, allowing even higher cornering speeds. Braking performance was also perfected, in particular to prevent the rear-end from breaking away, especially when braking into very fast corners. Combined with the aerodynamics measures, this allows the driver to brake into bends with the Golf GTI Clubsport S in a controlled way, without losing driving stability.