For a start, the 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder is derived from the new Golf GTI TCR racer. It's such a thoroughbred that Volkswagen says it's only "technically" based on the normal GTI's 2.0-liter turbo. Oh, and it's good for 306 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. But Volkswagen has done far more than simply add more power. Sixty two miles per hour arrives in just 5.8 seconds, or 0.7 seconds faster than our longterm GTI.
The Clubsport S is only available with a manual transmission and in a two-door body to save weight. VW also deleted the back seat, helping cut the curb weight to 2,998 pounds, or less than 30 pounds more than the lightest US-market GTI. But the most impressive stat comes when you match up the more powerful engine and lightweight body with the Nürburgring.
The result is the fastest front-wheel-drive production car to ever lap the legendary track. Volkswagen recorded a speedy 7:49.21 on the Nordschleife. This is thanks in part to a track-specific setting for the Dynamic Chassis Control system and super-sticky Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires.
According to Volkswagen's PR, the Clubsport S "will be limited to 400 cars worldwide." "Worldwide," in Wolfsburg-ese, means "not in the United States" of course, so don't count on seeing the highest performance non-R-badged Golf on our shores any time soon.