WATCH: Golf GTI takes on Clubsport and GTD in drag race

By Jason Woosey Time of article published Aug 4, 2021

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LONDON - Despite Mzansi’s well known love affair with the Volkswagen Golf GTI, our country only gets the regular version, with 180 kW and 370 Nm. Other markets have more flavours to choose from, in the form of the more hardcore GTI Clubsport, with 221 kW and 400 Nm, as well as the diesel-powered GTD that offers 147 kW, 400 Nm and an obvious economy advantage.

But are either of these actually worthy alternatives to the regular GTI? British car buying portal CarWow recently sought an answer to this question by staging a drag race between all three.

As you would expect given its power advantage, the GTI Clubsport was the quickest off the mark, but was it by enough of a margin to justify the price premium? Check the CarWow video below to see for yourself:

As a reminder, the GTI and GTI Clubsport are both powered by Volkswagen’s familiar EA888 2-litre turbopetrol engine, albeit in heavily upgraded form in the Clubsport’s case. Volkswagen also offers a GTE plug-in hybrid variant in some markets, offering 180 kW.

In addition to the increased outputs, the Clubsport gains sportier styling packages for the exterior and cabin, as well as an electromechanical limited-slip diff, which is networked with the Vehicle Dynamics Manager, and revised the axle kinematics.

But why can’t we have the Clubsport in SA?

When we posed this question to VWSA last year, a representative told us that we will not get the Clubsport in South Africa as it is only available for the European fuel emission levels. South Africa is still on Euro 2 fuel, and although the country intends to move to Euro 5 standards, progress on this front has been slow.

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