What is it?
This car is capable of lapping the Nürburgring Nordschleife quicker than any other front-wheel-drive production car - something of a modern theme. It’s called the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S, a limited-run hot hatchback that’s 1.5sec quicker than a Honda Civic Type R around das Nürburgring, if such things are important to you - and they are to at least four car manufacturers in recent times: Renault, Seat, Honda and now Volkswagen.
The GTI Clubsport S, then, follows the GTI Clubsport, which itself sits above the regular Golf GTI and was built to celebrate the Golf GTI’s 40th anniversary. The Clubsport has 261bhp most of the time and an extra 25bhp available on overboost. The S obtains rather more from the same 2.0-litre engine, driving 306bhp through the front wheels, which is apparently the kind of boost you need to keep pace with a Civic Type R on a long race track.
But probably the more significant gains, when it comes to that lap time around that circuit – 7min 49.21sec, if you’re counting – are in the chassis, aerodynamics and interior.
Firstly, the rear seats have been discarded, making the Clubsport S a two-door two-seater. Throwing out some sound deadening and making the front subframe from aluminium instead of steel reduces weight by a further 30kg.