Editor: Jason “The Bok” – Date: 06 Oct 2016
As with a good bottle of wine which ages well over time, sometimes you encounter a vehicle which over time is constantly improved and bettered. This is certainly the case with the all-new Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport.
With the Golf GTI Clubsport Edition 40, or as it’s better known, just the GTI Clubsport, the Volkswagen engineers have worked very hard to create what Volkswagen’s own press release labels as the “the fastest GTI ever!”
The phrase “hot hatch” was in essence coined for one very special vehicle, the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Some forty years ago in the month of June 1976 the very first Golf GTI went on sale in Germany. Set to bring a bit of extra spice to the hatchback market, Volkswagen could not have been aware at the time just how much impact to date that the GTI would have on petrolheads throughout the planet.
The essence of the Clubsport starts from the moment you catch your first glimpse of it. The body shouts performance, with its wider, more flared front bumper and rear wing tip spoiler. You are also in for a real treat when you see the Clubsport performance wheels.
I generally am not a huge fan of racing stripes or body decals, but the line down the side of the Clubsport, looks fantastic. Looks aside, the GTI Clubsport has some serious “oomph” under ints bonnet. The engine delivers a monumental 195 kW of power and 350 Nm of torque. As if this figure is not impressive enough, when you floor it, the Clubsport goes into a stage two over-boost mode, in which the engine is trumped up to 213 kW of power.
213 kW in a compact hatchback like the Golf GTI is a truly terrifying prospect, but somehow the VW engineers have managed to make it hand like an absolute dream. The chassis is extremely poised, delicate and precise, this means that you can chuck it around bends, with a massive grin of a smile on your face. The GTI Clubsport is front wheel drive, and this further enhances the “tip toes” fun it invokes.
When it comes to getting off the mark, the Clubsport has a launch control function, which allows you to use both the brake and accelerator simultaneously, and only release the power when it has built up to a sea of energy and you are ready to fly off the line.
Is it still a good old GTI?
Yes, it certainly is still a real GTI. The magic behind the Golf GTI, has always been its ability to provide a comfortable ride for the whole family and to remain spacious, quiet and reserved, that is until you decide to set your hair alight!
When you have eventually dropped the family hound back home, the Clubsport will allow you to race between the lights as if you are sitting in a focused sports car.
The Clubsport really does fit the mould of a true-hearted GTI. It remains a plush, comfortable place to be. You are seated in a luxurious cabin with a wealth of premium materials including a suede steering wheel, climate controlled air-conditioning and of course, media and entertainment delivered through every imaginable source available.
What does all this magic cost?
The Golf GTI Clubsport is not exactly cheap at a cost price starting at R544,740 or as tested R619,000. This being said, there are few cars on the market that can match its wealth of abilities, and which will quickly become future classics in the same way that the GTI Clubsport will.
Two of the absolutely essential options to consider when buying your Clubsport include the Recaro sports bucket seats, which cost R18,000 and the Adaptive Chassis Control which will set you back R11,850. You can also consider Satelite Navigation (R22,000) ; the Rear Assist Camera (R3,150) ; the full Panoramic Sunroof (R10,000) and the as fitted to my test vehicle the spicy hot Tornado Red paint (R6,250).
In truth with, or without the additional options fitted, I am very confident that you will have an absolute blast driving the Golf GTI Clubsport, I know that I certainly did!
Watch my full video review by clicking below to see my drive: