Author Topic: GTI Clubsport, Season 2, Episode 1  (Read 3537 times)

Offline Exonian

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GTI Clubsport, Season 2, Episode 1
« on: 29 December 2020, 14:42 »
Not many sequels live up to the original but I think this one just might, dynamically at least.

I suppose at this point I should post up a photo or ten but the weather has been rubbish and I found this vid by pure chance which shows an identical car from far better angles than my dreadful photography and ageing iPhone would ever allow:

https://youtu.be/Hl_1UiP9Biw

Just like the video above, my car is a Pure White bog standard GTI Clubsport which ties in well with my previous PW Clubsport which also had zero options aside from a black roof so there’s much I can directly compare with.

Should the new one even be called a Clubsport?
I’m leaning towards it should have been called a GTI Cupra (yes, Cupra not cup) due to the fact it has FWD, 300 bhp and oval tailpipes! Oh, and the fact the interior trim is more Cupra quality than we have gotten used to with the last few generations of Golf.

A few have commented on whether VW were planning on calling the model something else originally but now I have the keys to one in my hand I do think it was always planned as a Clubsport. Watered down in unique styling bits maybe but certainly not in the hardware department.

The Clubsport has this distinctive feature common the both generations linking the front bumper canard/air deflector thingy to the side stripe properly moulded into the plastic, not just a sticker.

temporary photo sharing

and also common to both generations is a little bit of cost cutting right here (no illuminated sill trim)



Sitting inside the car for the first time was quite a surprise even though I’d seen dozens of photos and watched numerous videos featuring mk8 Golfs.
There’s a certain familiarity immediately, I mean it’s the same car I’d been sat in for nearly seven years underneath after all, but also a very different look and feel. Similar to having your lounge redecorated removing your comfortable furniture and replacing it with more stark, minimalistic contents. 

I had one of the early mk5 GTI’s many years ago (it was a few years old when I bought it but a very tidy example) and sitting in one of the last ones before the mk6 was released it was evident a fair bit of cost cutting had taken place over the lifespan.
Same for the mk7. I had an early GTI PP then a 2015 R and the next mk7 I sat in was one of the last pre-facelift GTD’s which I can remember SWMBO sitting in just after I picked it up commenting on how the plastics looked cheaper somehow which was surprising as she has zero interest in such things and didn’t exactly spend much time in the previous Golfs.
Well, she’s not sat in the new Clubsport yet but would be taken aback how much cheaper a lot of the trim looks and feels.
Yes, the door bins are flock lined but only on the side you can see! The outer section is just hard scratchy plastic. The interior door pulls wouldn’t look out of place in a Caddy van and nor would the centre tunnel console. The door cards sound hollow, very hollow. The glove box is hard lined, or unlined more accurately. There’s no PedalBox cubby.
The seats are ArtVelour which feel nice to the touch but the upholstered door sections are cloth like the seat side bolsters and not pleather and/or alcantara like the Ed40 or TCR.



... and hang on a minute, I know the Ed40 Clubby had man made steering wheel coverings but I’m sure the ‘grippy’ section of the mk8 sports steering wheel feels more like dimpled rubber than nice perforated leather like the TCR



Extra external mood lighting elsewhere to compensate door sill and interior door handle lighting cutbacks:





is that a golf ball logo projection? Oh those Germans and their sense of humour!  :grin:
 

I’ve literally driven the thing 10 miles and have no idea how much of the infotainment works. Most of it I’ll probably never use anyway. There’s a lot of tech in this car making the cabin feel far more of a leap into the future than we might expect from a heavily facelifted mk7.

The tech is merely a sign of the times. We are being eased into electric cars and thus the exteriors of the cars need to be ever more aerodynamic (hence the different nose line and side sculpting to stream airflow) and the interiors reflect the growing digitalisation and move towards autonomous driving.

But, being as this is a heavily facelifted mk7 then it was only right that the revered mk7 chassis was developed further, which considering how good the last iteration was means it might not have been the easiest feat.
Easier than getting an all new chassis perfect straight out of the box though!

When the salesperson told me the mechanic who PDI’d my car was really very impressed by the chassis on his short drive, despite being an old hand well used to driving the performance VW range, I took it as the usual salesperson exaggeration to reassure the punter their £££££ was well spent.
Damn me if within a mile or two I wasn’t thinking exactly the same thing as the VW techie.
Even at low speeds in traffic there’s a certain something to the handling that I cannot put my finger on. Let’s just say “it’s good, very good”
It’s a bit choppy, not in a bad way. Certainly not almost miraculously compliant and solid like the M135i on 19’s but more like my last generation Ed40 Clubsport in ride quality with even slightly sharper feeling steering and suspension.
I remember saying the Ed40 Clubsport felt like an athlete compared to the TCR feeling more like a heavyweight fighter due to a combination of looks, chassis and engine tuning.
The mk8 Clubsport feels like a mixture of things to me during the short acquaintance so far. Familiar but different. Unmistakably Golf DNA but... different.
I expected to be massively underwhelmed but I’m not. Far from it.

One quick shot of the car from its best angle



More to come at a later date when I actually get to drive the thing!
Hopefully it’ll be with me for a while, I did actually buy a service plan with this one  :whistle:




 






2020 GTI Clubsport
Prior to that a couple dozen other warmed over VWs


Offline Guzzle

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Re: GTI Clubsport, Season 2, Episode 1
« Reply #1 on: 29 December 2020, 16:37 »
Good write up. 👍Thanks for sharing and will look forward to more of your musings as you become more acquainted.

Oh, BTW the door bins on my Mk7.5 are exactly the same. Only lined on the side you can see   :sad:
7.5 GTD

Offline king monkey

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Re: GTI Clubsport, Season 2, Episode 1
« Reply #2 on: 29 December 2020, 16:44 »
Firstly, great write up as always. So the interior isn’t great but the drive is worth it. From sitting in a gti myself I thought it was about textures of the plastics but if there’s no need for the gubbins that work physical switches behind them things will feel hollow I suppose. My main issue is just below the centre display. Empty as my soul there.

Secondly, my R door bins are BOTH lined. Omg!
2019 7.5 Golf R. Lapiz, prets, 90% tints, black mirror caps, TCR rear lip spoiler

Offline Exonian

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Re: GTI Clubsport, Season 2, Episode 1
« Reply #3 on: 29 December 2020, 17:06 »
Thanks both  :smiley:

Come to think of it I can’t remember now how much lining was in my mk7 door bins! The BMW didnt have any lining there but did in the glovebox and PedalBox cubby.
Maybe the interior just has an air of cost cutting due to the minimalism so I’ve gone out of my way to prod and poke.
One positive is the fact there are no switch blanks as well as no switches so if you’ve decided not to blow thousands on extras you won’t be reminded of it too obviously!

I can’t think of much in the options list I’d have actually ticked.
I had the HUD in the BMW and don’t miss it. The mk8 dials are clear enough without it. The BMW had a dark display and benefitted from the option.

I’d have ticked the upgraded stereo box, I miss the Dynaudio and would have liked HK. Maybe I’ll see if the Helix sub will fit the mk8. I’m not one for loud music but did enjoy the Dynaudio.



Incidentally, I just found out the Clubsport isn’t eligible for the service pack for some reason  :rolleyes:
The dealer will honour it themselves though  :smiley:

One thing picked up in previous threads by king monkey is the lack of gloss black on the sills and lower grilles.
To be honest I think the matte plastic will fare better with road debris being kicked up but I reckon the glossy stuff might be reserved for the Ed45
2020 GTI Clubsport
Prior to that a couple dozen other warmed over VWs


Offline fredgroves

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Re: GTI Clubsport, Season 2, Episode 1
« Reply #4 on: 29 December 2020, 17:36 »
Interesting your thoughts!

If you don't like the screen colours btw you can definitely change those to something less errm red. A kind person on here showed me that was possible. A nice dark theme is definitely something I'd do - I've never felt my GTD white on black display was anything other than a well thought out result once I'd got over the idea of what a digital dash needs to be - its not the wallpaper on your phone, its your instruments for driving!

My drive of the boggo GTI suggested pretty much what you are saying here, but you've got more welly.

Get over the switches, get over the swastika wheels, get over the sad face and the droopy nose....underneath you have a much improved Golf. I thought it felt keen and playful whilst giving you that thing flat predictable handling a performance golf should always have...

The lack of something totally new over MQB is not a surprise - VW need to be thinking hard about not investing in stranded assets. Its why we also have a reheated EA888 this time too and not something else. This is the last of its breed, the milk floats are upon us!

The options list is pretty meagre picking on the Mk8, I don't think much of it offers enhanced joy. Pick a colour and stick some aftermarket wheels on.

What I'm still keen to find out is whether Munich have managed to do any better... that episode is coming soon from me...
Current: Mk8 GTI DSG, Adelaides, DCC, HUD, HK, Winter Pack, Rear Camera.. Aka "HMS Weasel"

Gone: 2017 Mk7.5 GTD,manual, NavPro
Gone: 2014 Mk7 GTD, manual, NavPro, DCC

Offline ub7rm

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Re: GTI Clubsport, Season 2, Episode 1
« Reply #5 on: 29 December 2020, 18:20 »
Very nice.

I saw a silver GTI in the flesh today - there is absolutely nothing wrong with the look of these.  I'd go so far as to say I really like the nose.  In a few years it will be 'normal' and the '7 will be dated.  Such is the way of life. 

Its just the interface thats retrograde.  Perhaps I'm a dinosaur but I'm not ready for that yet.

I think whilst the GTI is absolutely fine looks wise, the Clubby and especially the R are VERY nice looking cars. 
2020 BMW 128ti
2017 Golf GTD Estate

Offline Guzzle

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Re: GTI Clubsport, Season 2, Episode 1
« Reply #6 on: 29 December 2020, 19:39 »
Secondly, my R door bins are BOTH lined. Omg!

Both mine are lined too. But if you put your hand inside the door bins and feel around a bit, are both the front and the back lined, or just the back like mine?  :undecided:
7.5 GTD

Offline fredgroves

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Re: GTI Clubsport, Season 2, Episode 1
« Reply #7 on: 30 December 2020, 09:35 »
Does the clubby need 98ron? Or will it run on 95?
Current: Mk8 GTI DSG, Adelaides, DCC, HUD, HK, Winter Pack, Rear Camera.. Aka "HMS Weasel"

Gone: 2017 Mk7.5 GTD,manual, NavPro
Gone: 2014 Mk7 GTD, manual, NavPro, DCC

Offline p3asa

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Re: GTI Clubsport, Season 2, Episode 1
« Reply #8 on: 30 December 2020, 10:02 »
Great mini write up Andy as usual.
Had to laugh at your comment of buying a service pack. The new owner will definitely benefit from that  :grin:
Hopefully though you get the benefit from it.
HIS: R 5dr DSG Lapiz: Tech Pack: Keyless: 90% Tints: Pretorias: Rear View Camera
HERS:  GTI 5dr Manual DBP: Parking Pack: Car-Net App: 90% Privacy Glass. Ordered 05-12-15. Delivered 03-03-16
DONATED TO SON:  GTD 5dr Manual White: Nav Pro: Dynaudio: Winter Pack: Sport & Sound Pack: Rear View Camera: Park Assist. Ordered 19-02-14. Delivered: 07-06-14

Offline Watts

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Re: GTI Clubsport, Season 2, Episode 1
« Reply #9 on: 30 December 2020, 12:00 »
Sounds like you are going to enjoy your new toy! Good to hear that it is improved dynamically.
2019 Oryx White 5dr TCR.

Was - 2015 Tornado Red 3dr GTI PP, manual, Santiagos, Audi short shifter.