Here comes the most powerful version of the Volkswagen Golf GTI so far – the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S. Created to celebrate 40 years of the Golf GTI, the front-wheel drive Golf GTI Clubsport S was unveiled at the 2016 GTI event at Lake Wörthersee.
VW will only build 400 examples of the Golf GTI Clubsport S around the world, of which 100 will be delivered in Germany.
The origin of the Golf GTI Clubsport S can be traced to the final version of the current Golf GTI Performance Pack. According to Karsten Schebsdat, Head of Chassis Tuning, it became obvious to the team that such GTI had huge potential, prompting them to squeeze out the most performance possible out of the car. A small team was created to take charge, focusing not only on weight reduction and improvements in performance but also on optimal aerodynamics and a superior chassis.
To optimize the aerodynamics of the car, VW undertook the tweaks made in the Golf GTI Clubsport. As a result, both the Clubsport and the Clubsport S feature new front bumpers for enhanced engine induction, downforce and front end aero.
The Clubsport S is fitted with a wind tunnel-honed roof-edge spoiler that is substantially larger than that on the Clubsport versions – allowing for extra rear downforce. Its black rear diffuser and two-part rear wing result to more downforce on the rear axle than on the front axle, thereby getting rid of the understeer that is typical of front-wheel-drive cars. On the other hand, the Golf GTI Clubsport S is treated to a special sport chassis.
Schebsdat remarked that they worked to counteract understeer on the front axle and specially designed the hub carriers, thereby resulting to higher grip levels and higher camber angles. Since a negative camber means a better directional control, the grip is optimized on the front axle. The new Clubsport S is as balanced as the "normal" Clubsport even at higher levels of lateral acceleration, thereby enabling higher cornering speeds.
VW also optimized braking to prevent the rear end from breaking away, allowing controlled braking into bends. Thanks to modified chassis tuning and the tires, the Clubsport S exhibits better traction even at full acceleration. The German carmaker also fine-tuned the ESC software in such a manner that traction control only intervenes later and the loss of torque is lessened.
Moreover, "wheel hop" from the front wheels -- a typical attribute of powerful front-wheel drive cars during max acceleration -- has been reduced to nil. Handling this extra acceleration are stiffer engine mounts and a new coupling rod between the transmission and front axle, as well as a reinforced gearbox. The Golf GTI Clubsport S is also endowed with the XDS+ system and the electronically controlled, torque-sensing limited slip differential.