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Volkswagen unveils 221kW Golf 8 GTI Clubsport

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The new Clubsport’s engine is based around the latest EA888 evo 4 series 2-litre turbopetrol, and Volkswagen says the car will dash from 0-100km/h in under six seconds.

The new Golf GTI Clubsport is somewhat perkier than the previous-generation Clubsport.

WOLFSBURG – While the standard version of the eighth-generation Golf GTI emerged at the tame end of the performance hatch hierarchy with its outputs of 180kW and 370Nm, Volkswagen has just unleashed a more hardcore Clubsport version that produces 221kW and 400Nm.

This pitches it directly against rivals like the Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy, which is also good for 221kW and 400Nm, and Honda’s Civic Type R (228kW/400Nm).

For the record, the new Golf GTI Clubsport is somewhat perkier than the previous-generation Clubsport, which produced 195kW, but it’s not quite as potent as the limited-run Clubsport S, which pushed 228kW.

The new Clubsport’s engine is based around the latest EA888 evo 4 series 2-litre turbopetrol, and Volkswagen says the car will dash from 0-100km/h in under six seconds.

But there’s more to the Clubsport than outright speed, as Volkswagen has beefed up the dynamics, with an electromechanical limited-slip diff, which is networked with the Vehicle Dynamics Manager, and engineers have also revised the axle kinematics, with a significantly increased camber on the front axle.

The new GTI Clubsport ships with 18-inch ‘Richmond’ alloy wheels as standard, but buyers can choose from a range of optional 19-inch rims. The Clubsport is also set apart by a unique front bumper design that includes larger air intakes, as well as widened side sills with a black stripe graphic, a two-part roof spoiler finished in high-gloss black and a bespoke diffuser with oval tailpipes (replacing the circular pipes of the standard GTI).

On the inside, the Clubsport has similar sports seats to the standard GTI, with integrated headrests, but the upholstery is unique. The rest is largely as per the 180kW model, with red stitching and trim throughout, a GTI-specific digital instrument cluster and a 30-colour mood lighting system.

The standard Golf GTI is set to hit South African shores in early 2021 and we’re currently awaiting feedback on the status of the Clubsport.