VW has confirmed to TopAuto that the Clubsport variants of the new Golf 8 GTI will not be available in South Africa.
“Due to stringent emissions standards in Europe, this impacts certain engines that can be launched in South Africa,” said the company.
“The engine in the Golf 8 GTI Clubsport, as well as the Clubsport Edition 45, are not technically released for South Africa due to the emissions levels.”
However, VW South Africa said it is in constant discussions with the VW head office in Germany, and this might not be the final decision regarding the Clubsport’s local availability.
Shortly after the announcement of the VW Golf 8 GTI in 2020, the company unveiled a higher-performance variant, the GTI Clubsport.
Following this, it launched the even more exclusive Clubsport Edition 45 in February 2021 – at a German starting price of €47,790 (R831,000).
The VW Golf 8 GTI Clubsport variants share the same body as the standard model, but feature specially-developed front bumpers and two-part roof spoilers.
An exclusive diffuser, wider side sills, a 10mm lower body, 18-inch alloy wheels, and new oval tailpipes then further accentuate these models’ dynamic looks.
Inside, the Clubsport mirrors the features of the base GTI – but adds sports seats, a sports multifunction steering wheel, and aluminium-look pedals.
Under the hood, the Clubsport models are fitted with the same 2.0-litre, turbo-petrol engine found in the standard model – paired with a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission.
Power in these derivatives is increased, however, to 221kW and 400Nm.
This is a 41kW and 30Nm improvement over the normal GTI.
Additionally, the Clubsport is treated to a new sports running gear, a new vehicle dynamics manager with an electromechanical front-axle locking differential, and a new Nurburgring driving profile designed specifically for the legendary track in Germany.
VW has not released official performance figures for these models, but unofficial online reports state times of around 5.7 seconds to go from 0-100km/h.