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New 2024 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport revealed on eve of 50th anniversary

Volkswagen’s hottest front-wheel drive Golf gets an update, but no more power

The latest iteration of the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport has been revealed, and it remains the brand’s most potent front-driven Golf model. Joining other variants in the recently updated Mk8.5 range, the Clubsport will sit between the base GTI and all-wheel drive R, and has been revealed as part of the Golf’s 50th anniversary celebrations at the Nurburgring

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Under the bonnet is the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 296bhp, with torque peaking at 400Nm. This is connected to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, powering the front wheels via an electronically-controlled limited slip differential. It will get to 62mph in 5.6 seconds, and the top speed is rated at 155mph as standard, rising to 167mph with the optional ‘Race Package’.

If this all sounds a little familiar to the previous model you’d be right to think so, but the fundamental powertrain hardware was always fairly sound last time around, so VW has instead put more work into the chassis and its components. 

This includes changes to the Clubsport’s suspension, including the Dynamic Chassis Control system that gives driver’s the ability to adjust the damper’s firmness on a sliding scale of up to 11 levels. The specific GTI steering rack and front-end geometry are also more focused, and the Clubsport also features a larger set of brakes than a regular GTI.

To help all these hardware elements work as cooperatively as possible, GTI Clubsport uses a centralised Vehicle Dynamics Manager that takes all the data points from various sensors and controls them through one electronic brain. 

Standard wheel sizes are set at 18-inches, but you can also specify a range of 19-inch options including a new forged option which will reduce unsprung weight and offer the potential ride and handling improvements that go with it. 

There are also some visual changes in line with other Golf Mk8.5 models, including sharper lighting front and rear, a redesigned lower bumper and new badging. Inside, there’s some new trim elements as well as the adoption of the much larger 15-inch touchscreen display that marks a significant improvement on the previous generation’s. 

The new GTI Clubsport is expected to arrive in the UK later this summer with prices starting at around £43,000.

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Senior staff writer

Senior staff writer at Auto Express, Jordan joined the team after six years at evo magazine where he specialised in news and reviews of cars at the high performance end of the car market. 

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