Given that around 300bhp is an easily reached output for the third-generation EA888 engine, it’s no surprise that Volkswagen hasn’t had to work too hard to extract 306bhp for the Clubsport S – especially since it has a 326bhp version already running in endurance races.
The Clubsport S’s extra performance all comes from tweaks to the ECU and the fitting of a 65mm rather than 55mm-diameter exhaust, which reduces back pressure (and provides a healthy pop on upshifts or the overrun). The engine drives through a six-speed manual gearbox; there’s no DSG dual-clutch automatic option.
The Clubsport S’s exceptional lap time doesn’t come from the engine, then, and neither is it all from its weight reduction process.
Quite a lot of things have gone: some acoustic material, the rear seats, boot floor and load cover and bonnet damper.
There’s an aluminium front subframe and aluminium brake bells, too. But in gaining a luggage partition, 19in alloy wheels and adaptive dampers, the Clubsport S’s weight drops by only 30kg over a regular GTI, weighing in at 1285kg.