Photo credit: Volkswagen
The Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S has just become the fastest front-wheel drive production car to lap the Nurburgring Nordschleife.
With racecar driver Benjamin Leuchter behind the wheel, the powerful hot hatch managed a time of 07:49:21 around the 13-mile track. With standard 19-inch wheels with semi-slicks tyres, the car was already setup for high-speed driving.
Leuchter explained at the time: "To break the record here, the GTI must be fast in the bends while simultaneously handling the bumps and leaps."
The Clubsport was built to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the GTI. With an engine producing 261bhp, the Clubsport is capable of reaching 62mph in just 6 seconds when fitted with a manual gearbox. When fitted with a dual-clutch semi-automatic gearbox, that figure is brought down to 5.9.
With much larger tailpipes and darker rear light units, the Clubsport is easy to distinguish against a standard GTI. Inside, a variety of elements including special honeycomb trim and an alcantara-trimmed gear lever help the Clubsport feel just as sporty as its performance.
Only 400 examples of the Clubsport will be made, with each one featuring a plate in the interior informing the driver which number their car is. The vehicle also has a unique 'Nurburgring' setting, which has been tailored specifically for the German race track.
However, although the car does look similar to a normal Golf size-wise, it lacks a lot of the usability that the hatch upon which it is based has. The rear seats of the car have been removed to save weight, meaning the Clubsport is less useful for transporting people – though the load bay size has been greatly improved.