Volkswagen is Working On a Clubsport Version of the Golf R

2023 volkswagen golf r
Volkswagen Is Developing a Golf R ClubsportVolkswagen

As Europeans continue to celebrate the continued and storied success of the GTI with new versions like the new GTI Clubsport, Volkswagen fans and astute North American buyers may feel short-changed by the lack of such special versions gracing our shores. But hot hatch enthusiasts may have a new object of desire on the horizon shortly. Volkswagen is allegedly planning a new Golf R Clubsport to follow its front-wheel-drive brethren.

"There's another interesting car we are working on at the moment," said Martin Hube, a global spokesperson for Volkswagen, in an interview with Road & Track. "They are thinking about and working on a Clubsport version of the Golf R."

2024 volkswagen golf r

Talking with Hube at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, he said that Volkswagen engineers are hard at work creating what is likely to be the highest-performance Volkswagen hot hatch ever. Based on the MK8 Golf R, which shares a platform and turned-to-11 EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four with the Audi S3, the Golf R Clubsport will primarily improve on the handling dynamics of the AWD hatchback.


"We will have an AWD, more track-oriented version, and then the standard Golf R, too," said Hube. "On the one hand, it's a torquey, road-going sports car. On the other hand, because it's a bit heavier, it's not a track tool."

However, thanks to the right combination of weight reduction, increased power output, and a revised suspension setup, the Golf R Clubsport will still be a weapon on a road course, Hube explained. Volkswagen's previous attempts at putting its money where its mouth is with Clubsport editions have succeeded, with the MK7 Golf GTI Clubsport S breaking the FWD lap record at the Nürburgring with a lap time of 7:49.

"This car will be a mule for the future," Hube said, noting that the decision to produce a Golf R Clubsport will hinge on approval from Volkswagen's board members. "I really hope that we can convince them."

Representatives from Volkswagen of America would not comment on the existence of the Golf R Clubsport, let alone the potential North American market availability or price of the hot hatch. The Golf GTI and Golf R make up small portions of Volkswagen's U.S. sales sheet, with only 7,541 GTI models and 1,499 Golf R models sold domestically in 2023. However, in the absence of AWD performance cars like the Subaru WRX STI, a track-focused Golf R Clubsport could certainly garner a niche audience of pragmatic driving enthusiast buyers.

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