The legendary Clubsport S in Malaysian soil

I took a long leave from writing, perhaps a bit lack of motivation but anyway, I am more into photography these days. Pictures paint a thousand words and its more fun than writing.

Having said that, all the researching does put something back on the learning curve which is probably going to fall flat. Maybe time to find a new job but then again, I am enjoying my space, sitting at home, watching TV and putting in this entry.

Back to topic proper, so we all know that the MK7 GTI has a Clubsport S edition, which is the top gun GTI spec available in the market, some say its the fastest of them all and only 400 units are available worldwide.

In December 2016, the Clubsport S (CSS) clocked a respectable 7 min 47 second lap time around Nurburgring and only to be beaten later in Apr 2017 by the Honda FK8 Type R (FK8R), clocking a 7 min 43.80 second lap time. Despite the record beaten, demand for CSS never fall short with all 400 units sold out before they were rolled out of Wolfsburg.

Coincidentally, one just landed in Malaysian soil a few weeks ago and I have the opportunity to go behind the wheels (even celebrities need to queue but since I am not one, i get first dibs). Despite what conspiracy theory that one may conjure, the car is not mine.

We have seen quite a few FK8R on Malaysian soil and I have driven one for a few days – you can read about it here  but why I mention this is because the CSS is a direct benchmark to the FK8R; both manual, both turbo-charged 2.0t, both going neck to neck at nurburging, both FWD, both created from racing bloodlines and hence a lot of reference will be made to FK8R in this post.

The first question that came to me as I started the engine and put it to “Reverse”, why no reverse sensor! then I said to myself “because race car” haha…. but seriously, my first thought was, how does the power fare against the FK8R?

Both cars were similar on paper, both running 2.0t platform and both manual. Yes, the steering came wrapped with alcantara suede and so does the panels. It does look more premium but I am not sure if it will withstand Malaysia’s humidity.

Not being bias but I do feel that the CSS runs a little stronger compared to the FK8R, if you read my earlier post, I did mention that the FK8R power delivery is very linear and smooth but on the CSS, the power delivery is more brutal despite running a little less boost than the FK8R; CSS 1.2-1.35 bar boost at 2600 rpm onward from my log files vs FK8R 1.5-1.6bar boost on the Multi Function Display.

Boost Request vs Actual CSS

As you all probably have guessed, I took the car to the dyno – just to back up my butt feel and here’s the dyno result.

On brochure, the CSS produces 306hp using the EA888 gen 3 2-litres four cylinder turbo that powers all high performance MQB Golfs and what we are seeing on the dyno is quite close to the brochure.

Unlike the MK7 GTI – I believe the CSS will be using the Golf R engine; as all the Anniversary Golfs i.e. Edition 30 / 35 and hence CSS as Edition 40 using Golf R engine with IS38 turbo wouldn’t be a coincidence.

I slapped the FK8R stock dyno onto the CSS just for fun and this is how it looks;

Conclusion, sorry type R fans but the graph says it all but I am surprised that the 1.2-1.3 bar boost from CSS managed to put on 300hp – I was expecting somewhere around 280-290hp. For a FWD car, 300hp in my honest opinion is sufficient to make a 2.34-2.35s lap time sepang with street tyres and a good handling setup; 300hp as a daily car is more than sufficient.

I am more surprised that with such power, I did not experience much wheel spin – OK, I admit I didn’t floor it, again, not my car! If its my car, I would have uploaded a launch control video. Wait a minute, will it launch control?!? hmmm

I didn’t do much high speed cornering, because I didn’t want to break the car but on comfort setting, it wasn’t too harsh, not as bad as the A45 and pretty much a regular Golf R. The online material did say that the suspension is developed to withstand the bumpy Greenhell and I wish I could push it a bit more – then again, 400 units worldwide… enough said.

As far as specification is concerned, CSS comes with an electronically controlled limited slip differential – in short, e-LSD which I believe should be controlling wheel spins. For a FWD car, traction is everything and CSS has nothing short of it and with that much torque and still going straight – didn’t get much torque steer, that’s what i meant.

In terms of braking power, CSS comes with standard Golf R brakes (booo! Compared to the brembo 4 pistons on the FK8R) with uprated pads and 340mm cross-drilled disc but what’s interesting on the CSS is the aerodynamic system which funnels air to the brakes for cooling, definitely works for Nurburgring since its 16 degrees in summer but lets see how it handles Sepang.

The CSS has a different exhaust setup vs the usual boring Golf MK7 GTI and like the Golf 7R, its has burbles (some calls it pop bang) when you throttle off at higher RPM. A very nice one I must say, not the intrusive loud type and its addictive. It doesn’t have auto blip like the FK8R which I find rather annoying – someone told me you can turn it off but I can’t recall how or what now.

Interior wise, its no match to the FK8R; I mean its a semi-race car, ready to take on Sepang / Nurburgring anytime. Never mind that it does not have rear seats, who needs extra passenger in track anyway and you get a pair of awesome GTI bucket seat that will blow any Volkswagen fanboy away.

Overall, I am quite impressed with CSS. No doubt it is only a 2 seater and the fact that it doesn’t have reverse camera, sensor and etc, its going on my wishlist but there’s only 400 units worldwide and it cost RM 330k or more to get it here, so maybe I need to find a new job after all.

Its rare that it found its way to Malaysia and I am privileged to have spend a day with it; definitely, time well spent!

I know what you MK7 GTI owners going to say, you can make your own CSS with an upgraded IS38 turbo, tune it to 360hp and kick a CSS butt. Yeah yeah, but a CSS will never get a Actuator Stuck EPC! 😜

Definitely a collectors item for any Volkswagen fan boy. Remember, its not expensive if you can afford it 😁