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Frankfurt show: VW to build special Golf GTI Clubsport

White hot: Mixing ‘Oryx White’ paint with menacing black details across the bodywork, the fettled Clubsport GTI can turn the wick up from 195kW to 213kW for short bursts on overboost.

Volkswagen readies boosted Clubsport model to celebrate 40th anniversary of Golf GTI

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Volkswagen logo10 Sep 2015

By TERRY MARTIN

VOLKSWAGEN has wasted no time shifting its Golf GTI Clubsport concept into production, with essentially the same 195kW turbocharged hot hatch – as seen at the Wörthersee enthusiasts’ festival in May – emerging this week ahead of its world debut at the Frankfurt motor show.

Created to celebrate the Golf GTI’s 40th anniversary early next year, the production Clubsport has thundered in with the same additional boost as the concept that pushes maximum power up from 169kW on the GTI Performance model to 195kW – and increasing to 213kW on overboost.

The modified version of the EA888 2.0-litre direct-injection TSI turbo-four combines with either a six-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to send the front-wheel-drive Clubsport from 0-100km/h in just 5.9 seconds with the DSG, or 6.0s with the manual gearbox.

This is 0.5 seconds faster than the GTI Performance (sold only with DSG in Australia) and makes it the most powerful production GTI in history.

It does, however, fall short of the blistering all-wheel-drive Golf R, which musters 206kW and can hit the national highway limit in five seconds flat with the DSG – or 5.2s with the manual.

Top speed on the Clubsport is electronically limited to 250km/h, while fuel consumption on the official European combined cycle is as low as 6.7L/100km with DSG, or 6.9L/100km with the manual.

Volkswagen emphasises that the anniversary model is more than just about raw power, with extensive revisions in design, some aerodynamic tweaks and extra equipment onboard.

The body sculpting includes a newly developed front bumper, side sills, rear diffuser and multi-part roof spoiler, plus exclusive 18-inch forged alloy wheels. Specially designed ‘Bresica’ 19-inch alloys are also available.

Among the available colours, ‘Oryx White’ is featured along with a contrasting black roof area. The door mirror caps are also now finished in high-gloss black.

Enthusiasts will note the side profile is based on the first-generation GTI – the black stripe is a nod to the 1976 original – while the black striping continues towards the front in the new air deflector element of the front bumper.

The new roof edge spoiler is considerably larger than the one found on the regular GTI and, according to VW, is aerodynamically optimised to help improve the vehicle’s dynamic performance.

Among a variety of exclusive detail elements in the cabin, folding racing bucket seats are provided in lieu of regular sports seats. They are partially covered with Alcantara and feature a honeycomb pattern on the backrests and seat cushions.

New trim strips dubbed ‘Honeycomb 40’ appear on the instrument panel, centre console and doors, while the seatbelts have a red stripe.

An Australian allocation for the Clubsport is still to be confirmed by Volkswagen Group Australia.

A spokesperson told GoAuto: “We are very keen to get the GTI ClubSport, as the Golf GTI is a very popular model in our market. However, we are yet to get confirmation on when or if we could bring this to Australia.”

Pricing for the regular 162kW Golf GTI starts from $40,990 plus on-road costs, while the GTI Performance kicks in at $46,490. The R sells from $52,740.

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