Car tester Klaus Neidzwiedz says Volkswagen has sold 2 million Golf GTIs since the model first came out in 1976. The newest Clubsport edition has arrived just in time for the GTI's 40th anniversary. And Klaus says it's special. New technology enables it to produce 290 horsepower. Its new aerodynamic package increases overall speed on a racetrack and improves safety on regular streets. Klaus is going to put the GTI through its paces at the Portimao racetrack in Portugal.
He starts by turning off the electronic assists.
Klaus's test car has a manual 6-speed transmission that's well-matched with the engine. Shifting is easy and could hardly be smoother. So driving is lots of fun. And now he's going to step on the gas. Klaus says the rear drifts a bit, but overall the control is good. The engine responds powerfully and quickly. Klaus is impressed.
Klaus says the Clubsport delivers 265 horsepower. And the boost function ups that to 290 horsepower.
But the additional oomph lasts for only 10 seconds. Then there's a pause for a while.
When developing the GTI Clubsport, VW revamped not only the appearance, but also the driving dynamics. And the car has plenty.
The electronically controlled differential transmission is a big advantage, says Klaus. It ensures that the inside wheel doesn't spin on curves. That means better driving behavior, more grip, and much more stability. That functions much better than mechanical blocking.
One of Volkswagen's birthday presents for the Clubsport is the most powerful GTI engine yet. 195 kilowatts, or 265 horsepower, put it in a class of its own. When the GTI first came onto the market in 1976, its 81 kilowatts or 110 horsepower already left the competition far behind.
Klaus sums up: the new Golf GTI does everything better. It's more powerful, faster, hugs the road better, and is even safer -- all for the price of 34,500 euros.