A more hardcore version of Volkswagen's iconic Golf GTI has been announced with increased power and grip.
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The 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport has been announced, delivering a significant power increase over the standard version.

Taking the baton from the previous 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR – a model still available in Australia – the Clubsport is designed to be a more pointed iteration of the iconic Golf GTI, offering increased handling characteristics to match the extra performance.

Volkswagen's new GTI Clubsport is powered by the proven 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, producing 221kW of power and 400Nm of torque. For perspective, the newest GTI puts out 180kW, meaning the Clubsport is offering a 23 per cent power increase.

A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is the sole transmission offered, sending power to the front wheels. Acceleration is quoted as under six seconds for the 0-100km/h sprint.

The GTI's chassis has been retuned for the Clubsport, with more aggressive front wheel camber, new suspension mounts at the rear, and a multitude of tweaks throughout the suspension – which now sits 15mm lower than the standard GTI.

A front locking differential has been upgraded to an electromechanical unit, and now integrates with the car's Vehicle Dynamics Manager system, allowing the variable-locking diff to change depending on the driving mode selected.

The driver gets a choice of fifteen settings between Comfort and Sport, which helps to control the stiffness of the suspension.

Volkswagen knows many of its European customers take their Golf GTI hot hatches to the famous Nurburgring in Germany, and have devised a special driving mode specifically for the 21km circuit. This includes a softer suspension set-up more suited to the track's surface.

Brakes have also been upgraded, with large perforated discs and two-pot callipers, and a more aggressive anti-lock braking and stability control system calibration.

All of these changes, coupled with optional 19-inch wheels fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, add up to a claimed Nurburgring time of 7:54 – still a ways off the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R's time of 7:40.1.

Also on the outside is an updated front spoiler with larger intakes, larger side skirts, and a revised rear diffuser with oval-shaped exhaust tips.

Inside, the Clubsport comes with microfleece fabric as standard, with leather optional. Contrast red stitching on the seats, armrest, carpet mats, and steering wheel keeps with the GTI theme.

A spokesperson for Volkswagen Australia has told CarAdvice there are currently no plans to bring the Golf GTI Clubsport to Australia, but said "special editions are absolutely part of our thoughts for the Mk8 Golf performance range".

Most special edition Golf models are designed by Volkswagen Australia's own team, allowing the cars to be specified to suit our market and our roads.

The 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI is expected to arrive in Australia in early 2021.