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Mini review: VW Golf GTI Clubsport

2017-01-12 07:40

FASTEST GTI YET: 'The Clubsport sports an incredibly quick, accurate and easy DSG gearbox,' writes Egmont Sippel as he tests Volkswagen's latest hot hatch. Image: Wheels24 / Sean Parker

Egmont Sippel

Wheels24 correspondent Egmont Sippel names his top 10 cars of 2016. Below is his review of the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport.

Cape Town - It took the S-iteration of the Golf GTI Clubsport to beat Honda’s Nürburgring lap record for front wheel drive cars, established in 2014 by the then new Type R.

The Clubsport S musters 228 kW, exactly the same as the Type R. The S is stripped of its back seats, though; the Type R not.

Full complement of seats

The Clubsport, without the S, also carries a full complement of seats, whilst pumping 195kW to the front wheels, compared to the GTI’s 162 - both from VW’s ubiquitous EA888 2.0-litre turbo unit (which, incidentally, also drives the Clubsport S and the 206kW Golf R, the latter with all-wheel drive).

READ: Top 10 cars of 2016 : Type R, Cayman, Rolls-Royce Dawn and more!

So, in a comparison between the Type R and Clubsport, 228 plays 195. That’s a significant difference, right there. 

Here’s another: gearboxes. The Type R’s is a manual; the Clubsport sports an incredibly quick, accurate and easy DSG, or double clutch box.

A photo posted by Wheels24 (@wheels24_sa) on

Very easy drive

Here’s a third difference: the Type R is all on the front end; the Clubsport yields a bit of rear end play as well, resulting from greater on-road stability after a bit of aero tinkering inverted the GTI’s negative lift of 60kg to positive downforce.

All of this - less power, a robotized box, slightly more pliant suspension and some rear end enthusiasm as well - makes the Clubsport much easier to drive than the Type R. 

READ: Hot hatch showdown - GTI Clubsport vs. Civic Type R vs. Focus RS

It is, in fact, utterly benign, even on the limit.

But is it as rewarding as the Type R? Therein lies the question.

Read more on:    volkswagen  |  egmont sippel  |  cape town  |  gti  |  new models  |  mini review  |  vw  |  review

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