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.
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.
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.