So you probably know that Honda with it’s new Civic Type R held the record for fastest FWD car around 1 lap of the ‘ring. Well not anymore. VW just broke that record with a scarcely believable, sub 8-minute, 7:49.21 which bested the Civic’s time by over a second (7:50.63). Pretty close when you consider the lap times are near 8 minutes long.
VW broke it with their new GTI Clubsport S that has 306hp. Normally that much power going to the front wheels would result in torque and understeer the likes of which this world has never seen before. Apparently not the case as VW has figured out the magical recipe and stomped the Civic Type R in what many consider as the biggest test of a car’s mettle.
But here’s where things get really impresive. Most cars that are worth driving fast have lap times from the ‘ring. The holy triumvirate of the Porsche 918, the McLaren P1, and the Ferrari LaFerrari are some of the fastest around the ring, though the two latter won’t release their official times to this day, with the 918 at a confirmed sub 7 minute lap. Further back you have the likes of the GTI and the Civic, but then you look behind those two and you see some insanely impressive and fast cars such as the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat with a 7:51.51, and the BMW M4 with a 7:52.
Yes, you read that correctly. A FWD VW GTI is officially faster than a Hellcat or an M4 around a track. That is just mind boggling. It also shows just how technologically advanced these cars are becoming as 10-15 years ago a FWD car doing a sub 8 minute lap on the Nurburgring would be completely laughable.
For a comparison, here’s a lap of a more hardcore version of the M4, the M4 GTS with a lap time of 7:27.
According to CarScoops, only 400 GTI Clubsport S’s will be made.
The car comes with 19-inch alloy wheels (“Pretoria”) and semi-slick tires, while other important elements include the XDS+ vehicle dynamics function and the front differential lock, as well as the new exhaust system that VW says, produces a “wonderful and deliberate ‘backfire’ when braking”.
Like the regular Golf GTI Clubsport, the ‘S’ gets bespoke bumpers and other aero enhancements on the body, while inside, along with a number plaque on the center console, it gains a pair of racing bucket seats, ball gear knob with Alcantara trim, a red line in the safety belts, “Honeycomb 40” design decals, Alcantara trimmed steering wheel and stainless steel door sill plates.
Now, for the bad news; Volkswagen will only build 400 examples of the Golf GTI Clubsport S, with 100 of those earmarked for Germany and surprisingly, 150 for the UK, and the rest to select other markets, which do not include North America. VW has yet to release a sales date or prices, but we may learn more tomorrow at the Worthersee Tour in Austria where it will have its world premiere.
No matter what way you slice it, this is VW’s apology for killing the Golf R 400. No question. I think they did a pretty good job with it. We forgive you. Kinda.