Full disclosure, I own a Golf R, and love it. I was’t expecting to find the MK VII Golf R had lost its supremacy by one of it’s own stablemates, but it has. Well, sort of. That stablemate that Volkswagen imparted with this performance gift is the GTI. Clubsport S to be specific. My sorrow is slightly assuaged knowing that this badass GTI incarnation will probably not make it to US shores. Still as an enthusiast of all cars, and most brands, including VW, this model is a pretty wicked hatchback beast. There are several articles online HERE that cover more about this limited model. And by limited I mean only 400 produced, with the actual number stamped on each center console. It’s also worth noting that this model now holds the fastest time around the Ring for a FWD vehicle, besting the Civic R.
Still it’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison between these two products from Wolfsburg since the R is AWD while the Clubsport is FWD. Another difference, the Clubsport S is only offered with a manual gearbox. It seems the purists at corporate won that fight. I believe the last significant difference is the engine, the Clubsport references the GTI motor used for the S being built up, but the R doesn’t share a motor in common with the GTI. Given these differences we can only loosely compare these two models. Either way my belief in the supremacy of the R has been restored as the best vehicle for me in my opinion for a few reasons. For one thing they aren’t trying to be the same thing, and here’s what I mean by that, the Clubsport S has the Civic R in its crosshairs, while the R has the STI and Focus RS on its. Another point in the R’s favor, the R gives me more smiles per mile as my daily driver as measured by me, and lastly since the Clubsport S won’t make it to our market before the MKVIII Golf R is ready for release (2020) it doesn’t matter, to me. And not to go off on a tagent here, I’ll save that for a separate post dealing with my unsolicited testimonial (Anyone from VW reading this?) about how every day I sit in the R, I smile. Still, I’m excited about this new Clubsport S model, it seems pretty awesome for what it is, and those lucky enough to receive one of the 300 that make it out of Germany (100 have been designated for Germany) who receive their Clubsport S will certainly be pleased. In the end I’m not concerned with the Clubsport’s raw numbers anymore because I realize my R is a bad-bad Golf, and that’s a good thing!
Below is a little side by side I prepared to highlight the differences.
|MK VII Golf R||MKVII Golf GTI Clubsport S|
|0-60 time||4.5 seconds*||5.8 seconds|
|Engine||EA888 TSI 4 CYL||2 Liter Turbo 4 CYL|
|Top Speed||155 MPH||162 MPH|
|Gearbox||6MT or DSG*||6MT|
|Rubber||Continental Conti Sport Contact on 19" Cadiz wheels||Michelin Sport Cup 2 on 19" Pretoria wheels|
|Information sourced using VW, Digital Trends, and Car & Driver|