The New VW Golf GTI Clubsport Looks Ready to Hit the Track

volkswagen golf gti clubsport
Volkswagen's New Golf GTI Clubsport Is Track ReadyVolkswagen

Volkswagen's hottest Golf GTI is getting revamped for the new model year, both on the street and on track. Ahead of the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, Volkswagen is teasing updates to the Golf GTI Clubsport road car and its one-off Golf GTI Clubsport 24h, which is set to compete this weekend in celebration of 50 years of Volkswagen Golf.

It's unclear if the Clubsport will get more power and VW will make those new specs known at its official unveiling on Friday at the 'Ring, or if this is just a visual update. We have reached out to VW for clarification.

First revealed in 2021, the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport is the brand's home-tuned hot hatch, typically offered with more track-focused hardware and a hair more power. The original MK8 Golf GTI Clubsport, which featured 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque from the 2.0-liter EA88 inline-four, a revised and adjustable suspension, and an aggressive electronic limited-slip differential. As for this model so far, Volkswagen has only revealed a few visual changes.

volkswagen golf gti clubsport

The front end is completely redesigned, with standard LED Plus headlights and an illuminated Volkswagen logo. Additionally, Volkswagen has added a large roof spoiler to the Golf GTI Clubsport, allegedly maximizing downforce, and is offering 19-inch Warmenau forged wheels as well. Weighing in at eight kilos per wheel (about 17 and a half pounds), true track enthusiasts can shed some unsprung mass by optioning these wheels, Volkswagen says.


Notably, the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport will not make its way to America.

Back in 2021, Volkswagen managed to set a 7:55 lap around the 12.9-mile Nordschleife in its Golf GTI Clubsport, so you can imagine just how fast a properly kitted track version could go. In marking a half-century of Volkswagen Golf, the German brand is going to do exactly that, as it shows off the Golf GTI Clubsport 24h run by Max Kruse Racing. Initially built in 2021 by Volkswagen Motorsports, the Clubsport chassis was further revised for 2024 by VW factory driver Benny Leuchter and then transferred to the Max Kruse Racing team.

golf gti clubsport 24h, golf gti clubsport and golf gti 1st generation
Lars David Neill

Running in the AT3 class, the 2580-pound race car is powered by a new bioethanol fuel known as E20, allowing for a power rating of 343 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque. With some fueling software modifications, VW says that E20 is particularly ripe for racing applications thanks to its extreme knock-resistant properties. Developed at the Shell Technology Center in Hamburg, running E20 apparently reduces CO2 emissions in the well-to-wheel balance by 35 to 40 percent, largely because it contains a greater share of renewable components from residual and waste materials.

Beyond road car refreshes and an alternative fuel race car, Volkswagen is creating another celebratory moment during the weekend festivities by entering three first-generation classic Golf GTIs in the ADAC 24h Classic race. Racing under the 45-year-strong KWL Motorsport team, each of the three classic GTIs is unique, with the legendary 1981 Golf GTI 16S Oettinger running in Group 4 with an output of 205 hp. Similarly, a 1978 Golf GTI Kamei will run in Group 2 with 180 hp, while the third classic model, a 1980 Golf GTI will be wrapped in a GTI camouflage design and run in Group 2 with an output of 181 hp.

You Might Also Like