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Frankfurt LIVE: Volkswagen GTI Clubsport

by Ronan Glon

The GTI Clubsport packs up to 285 ponies thanks to an overboost function.

Volkswagen has traveled to the Frankfurt Motor Show to introduce the GTI Clubsport. Billed as the most powerful street-legal GTI ever built, the Clubsport was designed to celebrate the nameplate's 40th birthday.

The most important upgrades are found under the hood, where the GTI's turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine has been tuned to deliver 261 horsepower, an increase of about 35 ponies over the stock model. However, the four-banger can deliver up to 285 horsepower for approximately ten seconds thanks to an overboost function that's turned on by pushing the gas pedal all the way to the floor.

The Clubsport can reach 60 mph from a stop in six seconds flat when it is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. Selecting the optional six-speed dual-clutch automatic lowers the 0-60 time to roughly 5.9 seconds. Top speed is reached at 155 mph regardless of which transmission is selected.

Outside, the Clubsport stands out from a stock GTI thanks to a long list of upgrades that includes a brand new front bumper with bigger air intakes, side skirts, a bigger roof spoiler, bigger tail pipes and a model-specific air diffuser out back. 18-inch alloy wheels come standard, and 19-inch units can be ordered at an extra cost.

A black stripe that runs right above the rocker panels creates a discreet visual link between the Clubsport and the original Golf GTI that was introduced in 1976.

Inside, the Clubsport gains Alcantara-upholstered bucket seats, a 12-o'clock mark on the steering wheel, a red line on the seat belts as well as red contrast stitching all over the cabin.

The Volkswagen GTI Clubsport will presumably go on sale in the coming months as a limited-edition model. Pricing information and availability will be announced shortly.

Live images by Ronan Glon.

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