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VW Golf GTI Clubsport S becomes the Nurburgring front-wheel drive king

The Golf GTI Clubsport S has become the fastest front-wheel production car around the legendary Nurburgring, VW has announced.

The most powerful Golf GTI ever posted a time of 07:49.21 at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, bettering the equally powerful Honda Civic Type R‘s time of 7:50.63. 28-year-old German racing driver Benny Leuchter was at the wheel.

It may be a production car, but the Golf GTI Clubsport S has been extensively reworked. For starters, its 2.0-litre pumps out a more healthy 310PS and 380Nm of torque and the rear seats have been removed to give it an unladen weight of 1,285kg.

To wring out every last drop of performance, VW has added a new exhaust system with a 10mm diameter increase in the exhaust pipes to increase power, semi-slick Michelin tyres for more grip, strut brace to improve rigidity and front differential lock to improve the steering precision.

The brakes have also been modified to cope with the strain and the ESC mode was reconfigured so that it kicks in later and eradicates wheel hop. To top it all off, an individual mode specifically for the Nurburgring that fine-tunes things like the damper settings can be selected.

All of the revisions and additions help the GTI Clubsport S accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 164mph – just shy of the Type R’s 167mph.

Critics will argue the removal of the rear seats is cheating a bit, but then the Civic Type R performed its run without air-conditioning, a front passenger seat and audio equipment – all of which offset the addition of a roll cage.

Previous front-wheel drive kings of the ‘Green Hell’, as it is also known, include the Seat Leon Cupra 280 and the Megane RenaultSport 275 Trophy-R.

Just 400 Golf GTI Clubsport S cars are being built, 100 of which will head to the car’s homeland of Germany. Each car has a unique number on display in centre console in the front of the car.

A 310PS Golf setup for speed is going to be a tough opponent to beat – and because the Ford Focus RS is now all-wheel drive VW may just hang onto the crown for a while.


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