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The exclusive Golf GTI Clubsport S has arrived in South Africa. This limited edition Golf GTI boasting 228kW is only available as a two-door body variant with two-seats.
As the most powerful Golf GTI ever, it holds the lap record for a front wheel drive production cars on the Nürburgring Nordschleife race track with a time of 07:49:21.
Only 400 units have been built and 47 of them were allocated to South Africa thanks to SA being 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. Something that was confirmed further by the price premium that those that got their hands on one of these cars are now selling them for.
What makes this car special? For starters, the South African units are only offered in Pure White with the roof painted in black. The Clubsport S comes standard with the Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) driving profile selector which includes a setting for the Nürburgring Nordschleife race on this model.
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 while an aluminium subframe on the front axle and aluminium brake components rounded off the weight savings.
Exterior details include semi-slick Michelin Sport Cup 2 tyres 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 and 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 lighter brake components. To further improve the hot braking performance, the Golf GTI Clubsport S is factory-fitted with special brake pads.
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 is the GTI insignia as 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 and door trim panels. 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. A roll cage occupies the space created by removing the rear seats.
The aerodynamics and the associated downforce values of Golf GTI Clubsport S are similar to the 195kW GTI Clubsport. 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 was aerodynamically perfected in the wind tunnel for optimised aerodynamics. 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 rounds off the aerodynamics package.
The Golf GTI Clubsport S has a special sports chassis and chassis engineers also reconfigured both the front and rear axles. 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 corners in a controlled way, without losing driving stability.
2.0 TSI 228kW Golf GTI Clubsport S Manual R742 000