BY ALAIN LOUISE C. GERONIMO
As if being the fastest front-wheel drive (FWD) production car on the Nurburgring wasn’t enough for Volkswagen, the German carmaker just unleashed its 306-horsepower Golf GTI Clubsport S on the famed Green Hell, posting a time of 7:47.19 seconds with Benny Leuchter at the wheel, or a full two seconds faster than its previous time.
This makes it almost three seconds faster than the latest Honda Civic Type R hatchback, which boasts almost the same power level, and seven seconds faster than Renault’s own hardcore Megane RS Trophy R.
Built to celebrate 40 years of the iconic Golf GTI, the Clubsport S is the most powerful Golf ever built by Volkswagen (sans the GTI W12-650 concept), based on the GTI Clubsport. It took its title as the fastest FWD production car with a time of seven minutes 49.21 seconds.
To make the record time possible, the car boasts 306 hp (from 261 hp of the normal GTI Clubsport) at and 380 Newton-meters of torque from its 2.0-liter inline-4 engine, retuned by folks at Volkswagen. To make full use of the power, the rear seats, floor mats, central armrest, rear parcel shelf and electronic limiter were removed, giving it a weight 1,360 kilograms. All the weight savings and power increase gives it a 0-100 kph time of 5.8 seconds. Top speed: an impressive 266 kph (165mph).
The suspension settings have been tweaked for track use, tuned specifically for the unforgiving and undulating Nurburgring Nordschelife, while soft enough to manage the monstrous kerbs of the track. With Volkswagen’s Dynamic Chassis Control, the driver can set the car up to fit the conditions of the famed Green Hell and other race tracks. Add an electro-hydraulic diff on the front wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and you can floor the power down while getting in and out of the corner, allowing faster cornering speeds.
Also keeping the car glued are the aero components carried over and modified from the normal GTI Clubsport model. Unlike Renault’s way of doing hardcore models for their hot hatchbacks, it doesn’t get fitted with a roll cage.
The feat was announced on the 2016 Worthersee GTI event and are limited to 400 units, with 100 already delivered to customers in Germany. Those sold were available in Tornado Red, Pure White and Deep Black Pearl Effect colors, and with manual transmission only. An automatic transmission would have made the famed car a little heavier.