Jaco Van Der Merwe

Compiled by Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring


PODCAST: Golf GTI’s historic moment with 8.5 Clubsport [video]

This could be the last model of iconic hot hatch to be powered by internal combustion engine.


Last week’s unveiling of the 8.5 Clubsport edition of the Volkswagen Golf GTI marks an historic moment in the hot hatch’s storied 50-year existence.

Likely to be the final GTI powered by an internal combustion engine, the 8.5 Clubsport could become highly sought-after in year to come.

Listen to Pitstop podcast

In this week’s edition of The Citizen Motoring’s Pitstop podcast, we discuss the landmark occasion this model marks. And we look ahead at the Golf 9 GTI, which is set to be an all-electric affair.

The eighth version of the Golf GTI arrived in South Africa in 2021 as the sole derivative. The all-paw Golf R later joined the ranks, but kept the range at those two models only.

Powered by a four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharger petrol engine, the standard eighth edition of the Golf GTI produces 180kW and 350Nm. A Clubsport version of the Golf 8 GTI with the same engine untuned to 221/400Nm never made it here. The same goes for the 195/370Nm 8.5 GTI.

The 8.5 Clubsport version of the Golf has kept the same 221kW/400Nm as its predecessor. It features new wheels, minor exterior tweak and an entire new infotainment system.

ALSO READ: LISTEN: All-electric GTI and Golf R show the future is upon us

Anxious wait for Golf GTI fans

GTI fans anxiously await to see whether the latest Clubsport will be offered locally. The last Clubsport that was sold locally was the 7.5, which was available in very limited numbers. And which prices quickly escalated in the pre-owned market space.

The 8.5 Clubsport has a claimed top speed of 250 km/h and 0 to 100 km/h sprint time of 5.6 seconds. The optional Race Package sees the top whack increased to 267km/h.

During our road test of the eighth reiteration of the standard Golf GTI back in 2021, it clocked 5.88 seconds to reach 100km/h from a standstill.

Since its introduction in 1975, more than 28 million Golf GTIs have been sold worldwide. Locally, it remains the undisputed king of hot hatches.

ALSO READ: Golf 8 smokes BMW 128ti to stay hot hatch king

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