The 2017 Volkswagen GTI Clubsport S set a new front-wheel-drive lap record at the Nurburgring, completing the 13 mile course in 7 mins and 49 seconds.
This new lap record is 1.4 seconds quicker than the one set by Honda Civic Type-R just over a year ago. Unfortunately, the Clubsport S will not be making the journey across the pond to our shores. Heck, even the less powerful 261 horsepower GTI Clubsport is not available on U.S. soil.
Like rest of the high-performance Golf models, the GTI Clubsport S is powered by a re-tuned 2.0 L turbocharged four-cylinder engine and produces a commendable 306 horsepower. The ultra hot-hatch was recently unveiled at Lake Worthersee in Austria among a crowd of GTI enthusiasts. Only 400 GTI Clubsport S models will be built for global consumption (except the U.S. of course) and 100 copies are already destined to be sold in Germany.
A unique feature in the GTI Clubsport S is that it offers a special Nurburgring setting, which can be accessed by using the driver profile selector. The standard Comfort, Normal, and Race modes in the selector configures the adaptive Dynamic Chassis Control, engine, steering, and exhaust sound. The Individual mode enables the driver to customize these settings and VW engineers used this feature to embed the Nordschleife-specific tune. According to VW engineers, the setup maximizes stability and lateral grip while maintaining enough suspension travel to accommodate the track’s many bumps and elevation changes. The adaptive dampening uses the soft Comfort setting to allow vertical wheel travel on the track while stiffening in response to lateral loads.
The stability control’s ESC sport mode can now be completely turned off for maximum fut at the track.
The GTI Clubsport S’s 306 horsepower (a gain of 45 hp over the “base” Clubsport) is achieved by using a new ECU, a high-capacity fuel pump, and a new exhaust system, whose diameter increases to 2.6 inches from 2.2 inches. While tuning the GTI Clubsport S’s engine, VW engineers claimed that they applied lessons learned from the track-spec Golf GTI TCR, which is powered by the same 2.0 L engine found under the hood of the standard GTI.
Driving purists rejoice because the GTI Clubsport S is only available with a six-speed manual gearbox.
To save weight, the GTI Clubsport S has no rear seats, center armrest, rear parcel shelf, variable-height trunk floor, floor mats, and sound-deadening materials. Additional weight was saved by using a smaller battery, an aluminum subframe for the front suspension, and aluminum hats are now connected to steel brake discs. The combination saves 2.2 pounds on each corner.
However, weight is again added to the car with the addition of 235/35 Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires on 19-in aluminum rims, the Dynamic Chassis Control system, a strut-tower brace, partition net behind the seats, and a carpet in the rear. Compared to the GTI Clubsport, the Clubsport S is 66 pounds lighter and power-to-weight ratio is at 9.14 pounds per horsepower. Chassis enhancements includes new hub carriers which allow for more negative camber angle. There is more downforce at the rear than at the front due to a two-piece rear wing at the trailing edge of the roof. The wing virtually eliminates under-steer, which is typical for front-wheel-drive cars.
The 2017 VW GTI Clubsport S maxes out at 165 mph.
Checkout the video below to see how the GTI Clubsport S sets the new FWD lap record at Nurburgring.