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Reeling in the gears Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport gave me shivers down my spine


Volkswagen - Golf GTI Clubsport

My beloved mother would testify that I am her Peter Pan of the modern world - the boy who wouldn't grow up.

Closer now to 50 than I am to 40, I really should have a lot more sense and be more responsible.

Sometimes I still act as if I am in my 20s - especially when I get into a car that brings me back to my youth.

As a young lad growing up there was only one car I ever dreamed of owning one day - the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

This iconic pocket-rocket has been the Holy Grail for car enthusiasts since it first rolled off the German production lines way back in 1974.

Although there are only a couple of months between us, I can honestly say it has aged much better than me - especially in its latest guise - the GTI Clubsport.

The first Golf GTI Clubsport was launched in 2016 on the 40th anniversary of the iconic sports car.

Following on from its success, Volkswagen began the next chapter of the successful Golf story, late last year.

The second-generation Clubsport has a power output of 300bhp and is the new flagship model of the eighth Golf GTI generation.

With its enhanced turbocharged engine, new fully connected running gear, and the brand new Nürburgring driving profile, designed for the legendary Nordschleife track in Germany, the Golf GTI Clubsport marks a new milestone for ­driving dynamics among front-wheel-drive sports cars.

On the outside, it is obvious from the outset that the new Golf GTI Clubsport fits in on the race track.

Its customised front end is striking, from the minute you see it in reality. The bumper looks almost open at the bottom - only the radiator grille trim with the honeycomb design, typical for GTI models, and the larger ­aerodynamic wings offer ­resistance to the head wind.

At the rear, the two-part roof spoiler catches the eye, which is a unique hallmark feature reserved exclusively for the Golf GTI Clubsport.

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The front spoiler and rear wing are much more than just design features - they significantly increase the down-force on the sports car.

The Golf GTI Clubsport rolls off the production line in Wolfsburg with 18-inch alloy wheels fitted as standard.

A special diffuser, a body lowered by 10 millimetres, and wider side sills also enhance the overall sporty impression.

New oval tailpipes replace the round version in the sports exhaust system.

Elsewhere, countless GTI-specific features also customise the vehicle interior, including premium sport seats, sports steering wheel with perforated leather grip zones and paddles for the standard seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

Aluminium-look pedals and other superior details round off the exclusive interior design.

On the road, this new version is as good as it gets. I felt like I was on an episode of Reeling in the Years when I first fired it up and I remembered why it was my favourite car as a youth. The sound of the 2.0-litre petrol engine and the 300bhp gave me shivers down my spine.

But if you want to get your hands on one you will have to shell out €52,490. This represents just north of a €7k premium over the standard Golf GTI.

I know there is a lot more equipment and a few extra ­horses under the bonnet but that's a big jump in price.

Maybe I will have another ­mid-life crisis one day and just treat myself to my childhood dream car.

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