Special edition VW Golf GTI massive success

1 September 2016

Joining the Volkswagen Clubsport Edition 40, the limited production run Golf GTI Clubsport S has proved a runaway success before the car have even been released for sale.

The 150 cars coming to the UK out of the total production run of 400 have already been sold. Deliveries of these limited edition cars are expected to begin in early October.

The development team exploited synergies between motorsport and production vehicles in enhancing the engine performance as they could draw on their experience with the 330 ps/410 Nm Golf GTI TCR – the new racing car for the TCR International Series. This also gave them the opportunity to boost the engine, the third generation EA888 that also powers the other versions of the Golf GTI and the Golf R, to a permanent 310 ps and 380 Nm and at the same time include the race set-up of the Golf GTI TCR from the Saloon Car Championship.

This boost in performance has been achieved by adaptation of the engine control unit and the use of a new exhaust system, with a diameter ahead of the exhaust tailpipes of 65 instead of 55 mm, thus reducing the exhaust backpressure and increasing the performance. A side effect of the modifications was that the exhaust system produces a wonderful and deliberate ‘backfire’ when braking. Other modifications included a water-cooled exhaust channel to the turbocharger that is integrated in the cylinder head and variable valve timing with dual camshaft adjustment. There is also a revised fuel pump.

It was such revisions that enabled a blistering 7m 49.21s record lap time around the gruelling Nürburgring Nordschleife back in May.

The car has also been put on a slimming regime compared with the Golf GTI on which this car is based. Features such as an aluminium subframe on the front axle and aluminium brake covers illustrate the Wolfsburg engineers’ commitment to shedding the kilograms.

Continuing that theme, a smaller battery, along with the removal of components such as insulating material, the variable luggage compartment floor, the parcel shelf, floor mats and the bonnet damping have together pushed the weight tally down further. Finally, fitting the car with a manual transmission and removing the rear seats completes the comprehensive weight-saving programme.

That weight reduction so that it comes in at 1,285 kg and a power-to-weight ratio of 4.15kg/ps enables it to accelerate to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.8 seconds.

The top speed is 164 mph. It packs a torque figure of 380 Nm between 1,850 and 5,700 rpm, with maximum power available between 5,800 and 6,500 rpm.

To transfer this performance to the road and track are four 235/35 ZR Michelin tyres mounted on 19-inch ’Pretoria’ alloy wheels. The 17-inch brake system was also modified and is particularly stable on racing circuits, to withstand the high temperatures of the brake components. The brake bells are made of aluminium; the friction ring made of cast steel is connected to these aluminium brake covers by cast locating pins and are thus able to expand radially when they heat up.

When it comes to aerodynamics and the associated downforce values, Volkswagen was able to draw on the modifications already implemented in the Golf GTI Clubsport. Both versions are characterised by completely new front bumpers. The new design offers improvements in air supply to the engine, aerodynamics and downforce at the front. At the rear, the roof-edge spoiler that was aerodynamically perfected in the wind tunnel, and is significantly larger on the Clubsport versions than its counterpart on the Golf GTI and Golf GTI Performance, results in significantly optimised aerodynamics

Another of the many unique things about this model is that it comes with a ‘Nürburgring’ setting that can be accessed using the driving profile selector. This is possible because the car is fitted as standard with the individually configurable Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) and a driving profile selector. In the ‘Individual’ driving profile, the engineers have developed a setting that is fine-tuned to suit the unique conditions of the Nürburgring. Over and above that, the driving profiles Comfort, Normal and Race are also available. The driver can still adjust the settings in the Individual profile as usual and can revert to the Nürburgring setting at any time before driving onto on the Nordschleife by resetting the Individual profile on the touchscreen menu. This unique configuration switches the sound, engine and steering – fitted with progressive steering as standard – parameters in the Race profile as well as DCC to Comfort. However, in this instance an entirely different group of settings is hidden behind this option, instead of the normal Race and Comfort settings.


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