Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45

Posted in March 29

While the future of sports cars darkens, slashing with ever stricter environmental standards, the Volkswagen Golf is doubling down on its more powerful versions. After the classic GTI (245 hp) and R (320 hp), paired with the 245 hp GTE Hybrid and the 200 hp GTD, the German drew a final contrast already known in previous generations, the Clubsport. Initially, this hot version of the GTI was not marketed here. We had to wait for this limited edition 45, which thus celebrates the 45th anniversary of the legendary Golf GTI, for it to enter the French catalog. Limited Edition All copies of its takers have already found. This 45 version benefits above all from a display decorated with contoured tires, a black extended roof with a wing of the same color and 45 emblems here and there. As for technology, modifications are limited to the sharper Akrapovic line and suppressed maximum speed limits, which raises the value from 250 to 267 km / h.

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But for those who still want to opt for circuit-enhanced golf, Clubsport remains available. What benefit real improvements. First, the 2.0 TSI’s block benefits from revised mapping and a more powerful blowing turbo and sees its power increase by 55 horsepower to offer 300 (and 400 Nm of torque). Thus, the most powerful R model, with 320 horsepower, is not far behind. The chassis is also finely tuned with 10mm lower ride height, firmer suspension and specific front axle camber, the latter also receiving a limited-slip differential for improved traction. Practically, do these developments really make the Golf GTI Clubsport more efficient? According to VW’s lap times on the north ring of the Nürburgring, yes. With the same driver (Benjamin Lochter) at the wheel, the Clubsport was 13 seconds faster than the “classic” GTI! Moreover, it benefits from a driving mode that takes the name of the famous circuit, which optimizes the car’s settings for this type of track.

In practice, this Clubsport above all shows very high performance. His block 2.0 shows impressive health, with only twice as much thrust as he gets close to the red zone. If there wasn’t much to complain about at this level, we would have appreciated, for a more radical model like this, less smooth and less linear behaviour. Especially since the DSG7 automatic gearbox reports it has been tightened for more puncture. Orientation recalibration provides a more direct feel, but without making it more informative. Above all, we are taking advantage of more dynamic changes in direction, accompanied by a stiffer chassis in its settings to increase the passing speeds in the curve. And it is precisely under these conditions that the GTI Clubsport reveals its full potential.

Faster to “get in” aggressively at every turn, pushing the boundaries of minimalism and articulating a little more, this ultimate GTI plays with the little trackers. Our test model, fitted with new tires and tested on a wet surface, did not highlight the improvements on the traction side (a point where the classic GTI already performs very well). The overall balance remains excellent, with the ability to “roll back” when the foot is raised, particularly thanks to the detachable Electronic Stability System (ESP). By taking advantage of these improvements, the Golf GTI Clubsport is enhancing its game, but without putting its more effective competitors in their place. Renault Megane RS Trophy R and Honda Civic Type R (about to be replaced) retain their most attractive driving feature. The question remains about the price, and at 48,865 euros, this GTI Clubsport is not cheap. He compensates with a lot of equipment, not forgetting to be a talented compactor. Always comfortable despite its new settings, spacious and functional while being devilishly efficient, this native of Wolfsburg displays a sacred diversity, between city centers and districts.

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