Our latest review covers the DNA Collectibles, 1:18 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S. This Golf variant wasn’t made available to us folk in North America, for Golf fans this is truly a shame! Based on spec alone, it would likely sit atop the standard Golf GTI and Golf R – the R features AWD and roughly 290hp (Canadian perspective)
The main difference is the power, standard GTI 228hp and the Clubsport S about 308 hp both sporting FWD. Additional tuning to the suspension bits is tasked to higher spring rates and various tweaks which delivers a more neutral feel. Styling-wise, minimal differences to the casual follower, but the list would include Gloss Black accents bits throughout the front, mirrors, roof, even the rear upper spoiler gains a few inches in Black. And we can’t forget the trim and lower graphics on the side with slightly modified based on the standard trim, intakes (front side) that are extended here on Golf GTI Clubsport S.
All this helped propel the Golf GTI Clubsport S to posted a 7 min 47 second lap around the infamous Nurburgring. The pace was on par with the likes of the 997 Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Lamborghini Murcielago and BMW M3 GTS. That is surely is impressive company!
But this isn’t a review of the 1:1, what we have here is the replica of the Golf GTI Clubsport S MKVII provided by our friends at DNA Collectibles. Over the years our team has reviewed many of their models, all surprisingly all well-executed and chaulked full of detail. DNA Collectibles has a solid history of getting the details done right and adding that little bit more over its competitors, hence, their premium price tag. Limited production and unique specimens DNA Collectibles have gained a cult-like following.
From an exterior perspective, DNA Collectibles captures the lines of the Golf quite well. We don’t find any glaring issues. The paint for both the White and Black areas of the exterior is attractively executed. It is quite refreshing that the team can prepare even the smallest part with the finest detail, note the side GTI emblems, the wording is visibly clear to the naked eye. And shut lines and panel gaps are optimal as this is a resin and static example.
If there was any obstruction with the exterior it is likely the front windshield. It just sits too flat. This might be due to the limitations of the plastic material used to execute the windshield for resin models or possible oversight…
The front facia is typical GTI wear. We recognize the use of fully perforated metal grille work in the lower section. Nice to see the added cooling apparatus in behind. The headlights are quality items, GTI pin-stripping is found along with the LED and primary beams all accurately defined. Note the extension of the lower aero and how it mates to the side decal work.
Tinted glass is the theme on the rear section of the car. As we move to the back segment the taillights do mirror the original well, and on closer inspection, the LEDs do come to life. However, the fitment of the driver-side taillight does not sit flush with the body panels.
Lower bits include chrome exhaust tips and Gloss Black lower diffusor. The execution here imitates the original well. The toe-hook cap is clearly defined while the multiple backup sensors we not included across the bumper. Nothing major.
Wheels are optional Gloss Black 19” rollers. No tire branding is found. The supporting apparatus which includes rotors and calipers are quality pieces too – we need to mention cross-drilled rotors are found in front. Clubsport S decals are found on the front calipers, nice touch!
One area where DNA Collectibles perpetually excelled was the interior side. Well, that streak has ended with the Golf GTI Clubsport S. Why, well, the main reason is the shotty and weak work on the interior venting. Crudely cut decals and each inadequately applied – see image below. This is some of the poorest workmanship we come across in some time… And the infotainment screen isn’t up to par either, though slightly better than the vent work. How this passed QC inspection is a mystery to us.
Now it’s now all bad… Full flocking and fabric seatbelts are included, and if you look into the back section of the interior, one would notice the rear seats are deleted and replaced with a checkered-style divider, though executed here with plastic. Another nice touch is the appropriate Clubsport graphics are found on the seats, though the Alcantara bits on the steering wheel along with the Red stitching were missed.
The DNA Collectibles Golf GTI Clubsport S does have its moments, but these are overshadowed by some of the defined QC misses on the exterior and interior sides. When you’re considered a premium brand and your primary focus are static in nature, the goal is to get all the critical elements right. The bare basics elements we believe most collectors of the static variety include on their checklist are exterior accuracy, flawless paint, no plastic bits for the grille, quality wheels and a highly detailed interior. Obviously, we are not overly impressed with the interior, in short, it’s limited and seems rushed to market. Let’s hope this isn’t a trend. Enjoy the pics!