Not every week that you have the opportunity to drive one of Volkswagens most sporty models. This I did in the iconic VW Golf R this week. And a most exhilarating few days it certainly was. What more can one ask for? Sleek good looks, athletic and sporty at the same time, and under the hood, a 2.0 Liter turbo engine, that rockets this car from robot to robot with alarming speed. In four decades, over 350 000 Golfs have been sold in the country. Since the launch of the seventh generation Golf model range in 2013 the Golf GTI, Golf GTD and Golf R models have made up more than 45% of all Golf sales in South Africa.
Volkswagen is adding more power to the seventh generation Golf R performance derivative by increasing the power output to 228kW from 213kW – making it the most powerful Golf ever sold by Volkswagen South Africa.
The Golf R truly steps up into the pocket rocket world, and stands back for very few contenders, even much faster cars can be beaten, as the compact Golf has superior handling in tight spaces.
The Golf R has optional features that include the R Performance Titanium exhaust as well as optional R Performance brakes with brake calipers painted black with the ‘R’ logo. Standard features include the ‘R’ designed bumpers, LED headlights and LED taillights that create a design that gives the Golf R a dynamic look. The tailpipes are placed further out to the sides giving the car a wider appearance. The exterior mirror housing caps come in Matte Chrome or optionally in Carbon. There are also various 19-inch wheel choices – the standard being the “Spielberg” 19-inch alloy wheels or the optional 19-inch “Pretoria” alloy wheels in grey metallic.
As with Golf derivatives, the infotainment systems, such as the optional 9.2-inch Discover Pro with gesture control are also available in the Golf R. Standard on the Golf R is the Active Info Display, panoramic sunroof and drive profile selection which includes the Sport Human Machine Interface (HMI) feature. Adaptive chassis control in an optional extra and offers the same feature – Sport HMI. In the Sport profile, the ‘Sport HMI’ of the infotainment system on the centre console shows current engine parameters such as power output and G-forces in play.
The Golf R is offered in the following colours: Tornado Red, Pure White, Atlantic Blue Metallic, Indium Grey Metallic, Deep Black Pearl Effect Oryx White Mother of Pearl Effect and the classic Lapiz Blue Metallic paint finish.
This is where the Golf R comes into it’s own, with a 2.0 L TSI engine pushing out 228kW, an increase from the previous 213kw. The Golf R rockets to 100 km/h in a swift 4.6 seconds thanks to 228kW of power and 400Nm of torque. This gain in dynamics is attributable to an extremely fast-shifting 7-speed DSG and the standard Launch Control feature as well as the overall high engine output. This DSG gearbox is very smooth and the delivery of power is excellent.
Recommended Retail Price (VAT and emissions tax included)
2.0 TSI R 228kW DSG R676 000
The Golf R comes standard with a 5 year/90 000km
3 year/120 000km warranty and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service interval is 15 000km.
The Golf R is the pinnacle of VW performance cars, and would probably sit well with some of it’s more premium cousins Audi performance as well. I could see myself wanting this car, however, fuel consumption in these times would have to be a factor to consider.