It does this by not only being plainly faster and fitter than the basic Clubsport but also by exalting the badge’s traditional virtues even as it gently revises them.
Yes, the back seats have gone, inevitably taking some of the practicality with them, but the Golf’s celebrated usability remains dynamically intact.
This is a track-orientated special-edition hatch that’s well capable of rewarding in everyday use, without being restricted to the frenzy of snatched Sunday drives on perfect roads and occasional forays up a pit lane.
Equally, and despite its record-breaking endeavours at the Nürburgring, the Clubsport S isn’t quite the match of certain rivals in terms of outright handling excitement.
But, crucially, the Clubsport S feels leaner, sharper and more assertive than the hospitable, all-weather Golf R – and that makes it, by a nose, the very best fast Golf you can buy. Second-hand, that is.