Currently reading: New VW Golf GTI Clubsport to be unveiled at Nürburgring 24 Hours
Volkswagen's flagship GTI gets new, meaner-looking face and technical upgrades

The refreshed Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport will be unveiled at next week's Nürburgring 24 Hours race, sporting a new, meaner-looking face.

Track-honed, and fitted with lowered sport-tuned suspension, the hot hatchback will also be the first UK-market VW to have an illuminated front badge – thanks to a recent local law change.

The flagship of the VW Golf GTI range is powered by the new Golf’s reworked turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine, rated at 262bhp in the standard GTI.

VW has yet to disclose power figures for the Clubsport, but the hatch isn't expected to output any more power than the current car’s 296bhp and 295lb ft. This would, then, still leave it short of the rivalling Honda Civic Type R’s 310bhp.

If any extra power is forthcoming, expect it to be achieved by clever tweaks to the four-cylinder engine, such as the current Clubsport’s different turbo and revised cooling over the previous GTI.

Paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the hatch is expected to slightly better its predecessor's 5.6sec 0-62mph time thanks to a new electronically controlled front differential – details of which are still under wraps. The Civic's 5.2sec is likely to be the target. 

Although still camouflaged before its official unveiling, the Clubsport is visually a raunchier offering than its already sporty GTI sibling. 

The main changes are at the front, with squatter headlights, a lowered nose and reworked grille design all giving it a rather angry demeanour.

Elsewhere, as before, the Clubsport has a roof-mounted spoiler, reshaped rear end, and a new tail-light design. Sill extensions are fitted to give the car a more planted presence on the road.

It also gets a new leather sports steering wheel, track-focused infotainment system and optional 19in Warmenau3 forged alloys, which weigh just 8kg per wheel. 

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The Clubsport also receives an exclusive Special Driving Profile, designed specifically for chasing lap times on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife. Available only with the optional DCC adaptive chassis control, the set-up can mitigate the effects of the track's unique undulating layout.

Pricing for the Clubsport has yet to be announced but is likely to push the car north of £40,000, given the previous model’s £37,315 price.

Will Rimell

Will Rimell
Title: Deputy news editor

Will is a journalist with more than eight years experience in roles that range from news reporter to editor. He joined Autocar in 2022 as deputy news editor, moving from a local news background.

In his current role as deputy news editor, Will’s focus is with Autocar and Autocar Business; he also manages Haymarket's aftermarket publication CAT.

Writing is, of course, a big part of his role too. Stories come in many forms, from interviewing top executives, reporting from car launches, and unearthing exclusives.

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Peter Cavellini 24 May 2024

The aftermarket GTi fetters will do a better car, this sounds a bit tame, you don't do a car to be just as good as the others, you want it to annihilate them.

Bob Cholmondeley 24 May 2024

Yet another car honed to be quick around the Nordschleife, just what you need on decrepit British roads...