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Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport Revealed With Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport Influence

Key Takeaways

  • 2025 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport revealed with 20 horsepower more than regular GTI.
  • Golf R-inspired styling tweaks, unique options, and “Special” mode separate this from regular GTI models.
  • The GTI Clubsport is not coming to the US and will only be available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Every five years, Volkswagen reminds the world that it was among the first and best to produce the hot hatch with a special version of the Golf GTI, and in 2024, the iconic nameplate is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a new special-edition model called the GTI Clubsport. When the car was teased, Volkswagen said the GTI Clubsport would be the most powerful FWD Golf ever, but it turns out that Wolfsburg misled us; the most powerful FWD GTI ever is the 343-hp GTI Clubsport 24h, which is a racecar not for sale. In fact, this special edition, with 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, is less powerful than the Clubsport S VW launched a decade ago, but that doesn’t mean it’s not special. Let’s take a closer look.

Sharpened Exterior

It will require a keen eye to spot the differences, and buyers may need to bore their friends explaining the subtleties in the special edition’s design, but they do exist. At the front, the lower half of the fascia has been revised, deleting the lower fog lights and replacing them with larger, more aggressive, arrow shaped “wings.” At the rear, the spoiler features an open design borrowed from the Golf R, and along the sides, the decals are identical to those from the 2020 40th-anniversary Clubsport.

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Beyond that, it’ll be difficult to tell the differences – front fascia accents, side skirt extensions, and rear diffuser trim that would otherwise be matte black on a regular GTI have been finished in glossy paint for the Clubsport. Even the 18-inch Richmond alloy wheels are the same design as the 17s you get on a regular GTI, and the Queenstown alloys in these images (inspired by the Detroit wheels from the fifth (and arguably best) generation of the Golf GTI) are also available for the non-Clubsport model. While VW did not supply pictures, it did say that a completely new 19-inch forged wheel called the Warmenau would be available for the Clubsport, and with a weight of just over 17 lbs each, these will certainly reduce critical unsprung weight.

Performance Claims

Okay, so the exterior styling is subtle, but this isn’t a Civic Type R or Focus RS, and understated aggression has always been a trick hot VeeDubs have pulled off beautifully. However, there isn’t all that much to shout about under the skin. The EA888 LK3 evo4 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 10 hp less than the 400-unit Clubsport S. With a 0-62 mph time of 5.6 seconds, it’s quicker than the Clubsport S (5.8 seconds to 62 mph), but it has the same top speed – sorta. Like a regular GTI, the top speed is capped at 155 mph, but if you opt for the Race package, you get an Akrapovič exhaust and a raised speed limiter that only kicks in at 166 mph – the same ceiling as the Clubsport S.

Related

Ranking Every Volkswagen Golf GTI Generation From Worst To Best

Like our recent Miata ranking piece, this is bound to hurt some feelings.

While the car from a decade ago set a record-breaking (at the time) lap around the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife (7:47) in 2016, VW has not claimed any records this time around. And while the Clubsport S made several claims about increased downforce and grip, the new one only touts improvements to the optional adaptive suspension and steering systems. Still, at least there’s a new Special mode within the Sport driving setting that is said to make the suspension ideal for the Green Hell. The steering, by the way, was developed by a team that included Sven Bohnhorst, who worked on the deftest roadgoing Bugatti of the modern age, theastonishing Chiron Pur Sport.

You Can’t Have One Anyway

Inside, the GTI Clubsport is upholstered with ArtVelours fabric (a synthetic suede), but leather is available as an option. Unfortunately, all of this matters little – VW has confirmed that the GTI Clubsport is not coming to the US. Considering how much North American love exists for manually-shifted hot hatches, that’s okay because the new Clubsport (again, unlike the manual-only Clubsport S from the seventh-generation GTI) is only available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Production numbers and pricing have not been revealed, but we expect the Clubsport to be offered for the 2025 model year only and to carry a significant premium. For the record, the US-spec GTI costs around $33,000.

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