Did the Golf GTi Clubsport S just set a new FWD Nürburgring record live on BTG?

It should be no surprise that SEAT’s Nürburgring exploits have not gone unnoticed over at Wolfsburg. Stealing the heart out of VW’s top Golf R, then sticking it in an LSD-equipped and so-much-sharper Leon produced, in my opinion, the best MQB-car to date.


Hell, I bought one. It’s awesome.

But now the boys from Barcelona are facing some internal competition from their German overlords. Today, the track opening was pushed back from 1730 to 1830, and word on the street was that it would be because a manufacturer was making a laptime attempt. Corvette? Camaro? Porsche?

So while I waited for my RingTaxi drives to start, I thought I’d livestream the attempt from the Devil’s Diner balcony…

Skip forward to 8m20s, when a Golf GTi Clubsport S appears going the wrong way down the Döttinger Höhe straight away!

Yes, VW sent not one, but TWO Golfs to crack the FWD record. Each took at least two attempts at the record, three if you count the flying start near the beginning of the video. Some sleuthing with the video timer, and ‘starting’ the stopwatch as it passes the Diner, would suggest that these Golfs were pretty close to the sub-8 they’d need to best the SEAT, Civic Type-R and Megane.

Video sleuthing

Remember these *rough* times I show below will be pessimistic, because the Golf was going slower on the start of the lap, then faster at the end. Only the guys at T13 will know the truth. But still, here are my estimates:

  1. White Golf = 8m52s to 16m53s = around 8m01s!
  2. Red Golf = 10m07s to 18m16s = around 8m08s
  3. White Golf = 22m21s to 30m27s = around 8m07s
  4. Red Golf = 25m37s to 33m47s = around 8m10s

And that’s why you might hear me wondering out loud why they were warming the tyres… it’s heat build-up that’s the problem with the FWDs, not the lack of it! The times for each car got slower, not faster.


If we take it as fact that the first full lap caught on camera scored the white Golf a stunning 8m01s FULL LAP, then, hold on to your hats… because the industry standard lap is from T13 pitlane exit to the start of the T13 pitwall. In my SEAT that’s 4 seconds at full speed… which means the FWD record table might look like this

  1. 7m50s – Honda Civic Type-R – Not a production car at all
  2. 7m54s – RS Megane 275 Trophy-R – the ultimate road-legal RS
  3. 7m57s??? – VW Golf GTi Clubsport – it could be even faster!
  4. 7m58s – SEAT Leon ST Cupra 280 – the estate (wagon) with Performance Pack!

Now when will we see the Golf R400 make an attempt?


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