We’re still waiting for the new Mk8 Volkswagen GTI to arrive in the U.S. market (not that another year with the sublime Mk7 version is a bad thing). But VW has already unveiled an upgraded version of the Mk8, the new GTI Clubsport — and it just may be the coolest GTI we’ve yet seen.
The GTI Clubsport keeps the GTI’s front-wheel-drive layout, but adds a lot more power. Its tuned up four-cylinder engine will put out about 296 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, which is more than the recently departed Golf R managed to make. It’s going to have VW’s seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, which will probably shave down lap times a bit, rather than the enthusiast-preferred six-speed manual. Distinctive features include lowering the body by 10mm and adding a more aggressive front bumper, wider side sills, a two-part roof spoiler and oval tailpipes.
Many sports cars brag about being tuned at the Nürburgring’s famed Nordschleife — perhaps the world’s ultimate sports car test. The GTI Clubsport will go a step further with a special Nürburgring drive mode tailored explicitly for that track. Expect VW to send the GTI Clubsport to the Nordschleife and other tracks to reclaim front-wheel-drive records the Civic Type R and Renault Megane RS have been setting.
VW will produce a limited run of 400 GTI Clubsports. And sadly, according to Autoblog, they won’t be sold in the United States. VW did not leave Americans bereft on the new VW front. We are getting the new Taos SUV, basically a smaller version of the Tiguan. Get excited.
All timelines are tentative given the present global situation, but the Mk8 VW GTI should hit dealers in late 2021.