A Hardcore VW Golf R Clubsport Is In Development, But There’s A Catch

A Hardcore VW Golf R Clubsport Is In Development, But There’s A Catch

The recent return of the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport didn’t bring with it any major surprises, but there could be more in store for the badge that signifies the harder, more focused versions of VW’s long-running hot hatch: a company spokesperson has revealed that a VW Golf R Clubsport is being actively worked on. There is a catch, though: it hasn’t yet been signed off for production by VW.

We’re still yet to see the base version of the facelifted Mk8.5 Golf R in its final production form, but it’s set to retain the pre-facelift car’s combination of a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, four-wheel drive and seven-speed DSG auto ’box. The closely related Audi S3 and Cupra Leon Sportstourer have both had power upped to 328bhp with recent facelifts, and we’d expect the R to get the same treatment.

Volkswagen Golf R - side

Volkswagen Golf R – side

A prospective Clubsport variant would likely take this power even further. Speaking to US publication Road & Track, VW spokesperson Martin Hube said that “[VW is] working on a Clubsport version of the Golf R.”

Hube went on to say that the potential Clubsport version also be lighter than the standard R, and feature a revised suspension setup, all with a view to making it a more track-focused machine.

Volkswagen Golf R - rear

Volkswagen Golf R – rear

He also emphasises, however, that production is subject to approval from VW’s board. “This car will be a mule for the future,” he said. “I really hope we can convince them.”

Things also get a little muddy here, as back in January, Car Throttle visited the F.A.T Ice Race in Austria, where VW was displaying a prototype of the standard Mk8.5 Golf R. There, VW’s head of technical development, Kai Grunitz, told us about a possible ‘Black Label’ version of the R, which could see visual tweaks, but only answered with a non-committal “you will see” when asked if it would also bring performance changes.

Volkswagen Golf R Mk8.5 prototype

Volkswagen Golf R Mk8.5 prototype

It’s unclear at this stage whether Hube and Grunitz are talking about the same car, or indeed if either will see the light of day, but we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed that VW does the right thing.

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