With almost 300 horsepower and more electronic wizardry, the Clubsport is ready to hit the track at maximum attack.
As with the first iteration that appeared in 2016, the Clubsport is meant to be the pinnacle of GTI performance, taking you as close as VW can to the range-topping Golf R without overlapping.
Its 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 puts out 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, and there's a new Vehicle Dynamics Manager tucked into the electronics that communicates with all the electromechanical bits -- like its front-axle differential -- to boost performance beyond that of the standard GTI.
You can tell VW is intent on squeezing out every inch of performance from the GTI Clubsport because it even packs a specific Nürburgring mode that was engineered specifically to tackle the 13-mile strip of German dynamic madness.
The previous GTI Clubsport picked up the 'Ring record for front-wheel-drive vehicles back in 2016, and setting that precedent means the new version needs to be even better than that.
While the vehicle shown here is still a near-production prototype, it's pretty much what European buyers can expect to pick up from the dealer.
Inside, there are a number of Clubsport-specific touches, like a sportier steering wheel with perforated leather and some big ol' paddles for the standard seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
While it's depressing, those of us living Stateside will probably have to come to terms with the fact that the GTI Clubsport probably won't make its way to the US.
When the eight-gen Golf debuts in the US, it will only be available in GTI and R flavors.