WOLFSBURG – Volkswagen revealed the Clubsport version of the eighth-generation Golf GTI on Wednesday and already there were questions being asked about a new Clubsport S model.
However, that appears to have been ruled out, with VW’s driving dynamics head Karsten Schebsdat having told Autocar that a new Clubsport S was “not planned”. Schebsdat did not give a reason for this, but Autocar speculates that it comes down to the money, with the company struggling through the economic consequences of Covid as well as the costs associated with the ‘dieselgate’ scandal.
The new Golf 8 GTI Clubsport is almost as powerful as the Golf 7 Clubsport S, with 221kW versus 228kW, and it’s actually got 20Nm more twisting force, with the newcomer pushing 400Nm.
But it’s not as hardcore or as track-focused as the old Clubsport S, which even had items like the back seats, bonnet damping and variable luggage compartment floor removed to shed a few kilos.
And while the new Clubsport has a driving mode that’s specifically set up for the Nurburgring, the old Clubsport S actually mastered the Green Hell, having achieved a lap record for front wheel drive hatchbacks, of 07m49s21.
Only a six-speed manual transmission was offered and, for the record, the Clubsport S could sprint from 0-100km/h in 5.8 seconds, according to claims. However, the new Clubsport will also hit 100 in under six seconds, Volkswagen says, although an exact number has not been disclosed as yet.
The other big difference is that the Clubsport S was an exclusive package that was always destined to be rare and collectable, with Volkswagen having produced just 400 of them, whereas the new Clubsport appears destined to be a volume seller.
Of course, Volkswagen also built a non-S Clubsport version of the Golf 7 and it had 195kW. Perhaps the new S has evolved to the extent that an S version is no longer necessary? Or Volkswagen doesn’t want something to steal thunder from the upcoming Golf R, which is rumoured to have 245kW on tap.