The Golf GTI Clubsport S isn’t quite as pared back as the most ultra-hardcore hot hatchbacks we’ve seen over the years.
This is still a Golf GTI, remember, so it would never do if it felt ‘basic’ – and it certainly doesn’t.
But pause before sliding into the Recaro bucket to look behind it and you’ll see only the vestiges of the back seats and parcel shelf.
VW has made a gesture at replacing at least part of the function of the rear seatbacks with an anodised bar that bolts between the upper seatback anchorages and a retaining net that hangs underneath it, tied down to the boot floor, which should prevent anything you put in the boot from joining you in the front of the cabin under heavy braking.
But you couldn’t call the bar itself a rear strut brace (although it’s clearly supposed to look a bit like one), because it’s only fixed – and fixed quite loosely at that – with allen bolts.
Our test car had climate control added back onto its specification (a no-cost option), so it wasn’t as sparse or as light as it might have been. You get VW’s Discover Navigation infotainment system as standard, but you don’t get a centre armrest.