HOTTEST GTI YET: Volkswagen unveiled its most powerful GTI yet: the Clubsport S. Image: Newspress
Cape Town - Performance car fans have been 'blessed' with a plethora of hot hatches in 2016 so far. Wheels24 has driven the new Honda Type R, Mercedes-Benz AMG A45, Audi RS3.
Ford's Focus RS is still on the way as well as Volkswagen's hottest GTI yet - the Clubsport S.
Hot hatches have a special place among the Wheels24 team due to their practicality, 'punching-above-its-weight' performance and they're relatively affordable compared to most sports cars.
40th year GTI anniversary
The Volkswagen Golf GTI embodies the hot hatch philosophy: fun, affordable and fast. In fact the first iteration in 1976 democratised the performance hatchback.
In 2016, VW has produced its most powerful GTI yet: Clubsport S.
VW South Africa confirms the standard Clubsport will arrive locally in July.
Here are 10 things you should know about the Clubsport S:
1. It set the lap record for front-wheel-drive production cars on the famous Nurburgring Nordschleife racetrack, with a time of 07:49:21.
2. It's powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine which delivers 228kW/380Nm. It completes the 0-100 km/h sprint in 5.8 seconds while top speed is limited to 250km/h.
3. It has a "Nürburgring setting", which can be accessed using the driving profile selector. The Nurburgring setting, according to the automaker, tunes the adaptive chassis control, engine, steering and sound to suit the Nordschleife.
4. VW's design tweaks are great...
5. Volkswagen says the chassis of the Clubsport S was tuned in extensive racetrack tests and completely reconfigured compared to the standard GTI.
6. It weighs 1285kg, and its 228kW results in a power-to-weight ratio of 4.15 kg/kW. The 228kW maximum power courtesy of unique mapping of its EA888 2.0-litre turbocharged engine.
Watch: VW Golf GTI Clubsport S 'Ring record - onboard
7. A new exhaust system sees tail pipes with an enlarged cross-section for better sound.
8. The Clubsport S is track-focused racer with two-doors, two-seats. The rear seats have been removed to save weight.
9. The Clubsport S is equipped with 19" alloys (“Pretoria”), and semi-slick tyres.
10. Only 400 will be made (100 for Germany). Each of the 400 VW Golf GTI Clubsport S cars made will have its production number (001/400 to 400/400) on the centre console in the front.
Is it coming to SA?
After reading the important facts of the Clubsport S, we do have some sad news for local 'veedub' fans - VWSA will not launch the Clubsport S locally.
Don't despair, in July 2016, VW will launch the standard GTI Clubsport. The local version will be capable of 195kW/350Nm and is equipped with sports seats, alcantara trim and a tweaked exterior.