The Volkswagen GTI Clubsport Will Take On The Civic Type R

VW just unveiled the new GTI Clubsport

Volkswagen is building a GTI to take on the Civic Type R - front-drive hot hatch against front-drive hot hatch. VW shared teaser images of the new eighth-generation GTI Clubsport today, which will debut at the Nurburgring 24 Hours endurance race on May 31. We expect we’ll have all the good specs by then, but for the moment, VW’s livery leaves very little unseen.

Upon first glance, the GTI Clubsport looks to be (Club)sporting a new front fascia with updated headlights and a large, possibly illuminated VW logo at the nose. There’s sure to be at least some of the historic red accenting that has adorned the nose of GTIs since the ‘80s.

It also looks like Clubsport models will see a subtle tweak to the sideskirts, but admittedly, the camo does make this tough to call. As for the rest of the car, Clubsport models will sport a rear fascia heavily inspired by the Golf R, and a sweet hatch-mounted rear wing. There’s sure to be some changes inside, too, but VW has yet to share photos of the interior.

What specs we do have point to a more powerful, lighter GTI. VW says that the upgraded 19-inch wheels weigh just 17 pounds a pop (likely without tires), and they’ll almost certainly come with performance rubber. These wheels are sure to hide upgraded brakes, but to what extent isn’t clear. Similarly, what power the GTI Clubsport will have remains unknown, but it will be controlled via adaptive chassis control and an electronically controlled front differential with a special Clubsport-exclusive drive mode built to tackle the ‘Ring. For now, that’s all we know, but if Volkswagen has built a car to tackle the Civic Type R, we’re all ears - though VW will need a manual to truly answer the challenge laid down by Honda.

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Chase Bierenkoven
Chase Bierenkoven

Chase is an automotive journalist with years of experience in the industry. He writes for outlets like Edmunds and AutoGuide, among many others. When not writing, Chase is in front of the camera over at The Overrun, his YouTube channel run alongside his friend and co-host Jobe Teehan. If he's not writing reviews of the latest in cars or producing industry coverage, Chase is at home in the driver's seat of his own (usually German) sports cars.

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