Volkswagen Golf R Clubsport under consideration abroad, GTI Clubsport could reach SA

Unlike its predecessor, the new Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport is under consideration for SA. Picture: Supplied

Unlike its predecessor, the new Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport is under consideration for SA. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 6, 2024


Volkswagen unleashed its latest Golf GTI Clubsport at the Nurburgring 24 Hour event last weekend, and most of us assumed that it wouldn’t be coming to South Africa as the current version never made it here.

However, this week a Volkswagen South Africa representative confirmed to IOL that the 221kW Golf GTI Clubsport was indeed under consideration for our country, along with the regular Golf 8.5 GTI that was revealed earlier this year, and which now pelts out 195kW.

It’s hard to imagine that the latter would not reach our shores, given its cult following here, but the 221kW Clubsport still remains a moot point.

The GTI Clubsport boasts beefed up looks, with power and handling to match. Picture: Supplied

When the outgoing Clubsport was launched globally in 2020, VWSA told us that it wasn’t on the cards because it was only available for European fuel emission levels. However, other high-powered versions of the EA888 2.0-litre turbocharged engines, in vehicles such as the Golf R and Audi S3, are available locally, albeit detuned in the latter case.

Golf R Clubsport in early development

Speaking of the Volkswagen Golf R, although the facelifted version has yet to be fully revealed (see the teaser images here), rumours of a spicier version are already starting to swirl abroad.

A global spokesperson for VW recently told Road & Track magazine that the company was “thinking about and working on” a Clubsport version of the Golf R.

Although it appears that such a model is in the early stages of development, the US publication reiterated that it had not yet been given the official green light by Volkswagen’s board.

If it is approved, the Golf R Clubsport will likely hit the ground running with more power, a sharper chassis and reduced weight.

It will, of course, have a traction advantage over the GTI, thanks to its all-wheel drive configuration, although the flipside is increased weight. Either way, the Clubsport will be a more track-focused version of the R and almost certainly the most exciting Golf ever.

As for the power aspect ... It is rumoured that the regular version of the new Golf R will match the 245kW output of the “333” special edition of 2022, and it will be interesting to see just how far the white coats in Wolfsburg push the envelope with the proposed Clubsport version.

IOL Motoring