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by David Zalstein

2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S - Nurburgring4

The special edition Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S has recorded a sub-7min50sec lap of Germany’s infamous Nurburgring Nordschleife, making it the fastest front-wheel-drive production car to lap the 20.83-kilometre circuit.

With 228kW of power and 380Nm of torque available from its turbocharged 2.0-litre EA888 four-cylinder engine, the two-seat, three-door, manual-only Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S – the most powerful GTI ever – set a time of 07:49:21, bettering the 7:54.36 time set by the Renault Megane RS275 Trophy-R back in June 2014.

Limited to a production run of 400 cars, Volkswagen claims the special edition Golf GTI Clubsport S can sprint from 0-100km/h in 5.8 seconds and wind out to 265km/h.

2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S - Nurburgring2

Driven by 28-year-old German racer Benny Leuchter and equipped with a “special sport chassis”, “special brake pads” and 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 235mm-wide, 35-profile “semi-slick” Michelin tyres, the German car maker says the record-breaking run was achieved using a unique ‘Nurburgring setting’.

Accessed via the standard model’s driving profile selector, engineers have reconfigured and fine-tuned the ‘Individual’ setting to “suit the unique conditions of the Nurburgring”.

Although profiles for ‘Comfort’, ‘Normal’ and ‘Race’ are also available in the Clubsport S (normal Golf GTIs being limited to a choice of ‘Comfort’, ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’, or ‘Individual’), the special Nurburgring setting specifically adjusts the car’s adaptive suspension, engine, steering, and sound to create an ideal setup for the Nordschleife layout.

2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S - Nurburgring5

Further, Volkswagen has added a new exhaust system to the car, while also reducing weight down to 1285kg, or around 30kg less than a similarly equipped Golf GTI Clubsport – a car due to go on sale in Australia from June, priced from $48,990, badged as the Golf GTI 40 Years Edition.

Inside, along with the removal of the rear seats, the Golf GTI Clubsport S also features a driver and front passenger racing bucket seat, red-lined seat belts, an Alcantara-trimmed sports steering wheel and an Alcantara-trimmed version the Golf’s iconic golf ball gear knob.

The record run not only ensures the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S will draw plenty of crowds at its world premiere at the Worthersee VAG festival running from May 4-7 in Austria, but also plenty of controversy too.

Much debate surrounded the 7:58.44 time set by the ‘specially equipped’ Seat Leon Cupra 280 and a 7:50.63 time set by a single-seat, preproduction prototype version of the new Honda Civic Type R.

MORE: Golf GTI 40 Years here from June
MORE: Golf GTI Clubsport goes official
MORE: Volkswagen Golf News
MORE: Volkswagen Golf Reviews




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