Volkswagen claims the new Golf R will dash from standstill to 100km/h in five seconds flat. This figure is important to the typical premium hot hatchback buyer and the hot Volkswagen is on par with the competition. Given that it undercuts the Audi S3 Sportback and Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG considerably in price, buyers might find the temptation hard to shrug.
The new Golf R boasts 18kW more than its predecessor, taking things up to 206kW. But it’s also purportedly more efficient than the old one, with a claimed consumption figure of 6.9l/100km versus 8.5l/100km. When paired with the manual transmission – only available in the second half of this year – the R is slower to 100km/h by 0.2 of a second.
As it was before, power is sent to all four wheels. The Haldex system employed promises to eliminate “nearly” all traction losses. And if necessary, nearly 100 percent of the engine’s grunt can be shoved to the rear axle. The electronic stability control programme has a sport function, for more spirited stints behind the wheel. Like its GTI sibling, the R has progressive steering: which yields more from less input.
It’s a subtle progression from the old one, as is the case with all Volkswagen’s offerings. There’s a set of 19-inch “Cadiz” alloy wheels, four pipes at the rear, a diffuser and LED daytime running lights. In addition to the signature Lapiz Blue Metallic you see in the pictures, other shades include Tornado Red, Deep Black Pearl Effect and Limestone Grey Metallic.
Inside you’ll find leather sport seats, carbon-like trim and an abundance of “R” badges. Naturally, there’s an extensive list of optional kit like a navigation system and a sunroof. The Golf R DSG costs R486 200. And it’s standard with a five-year/90 000-kilometre service plan and three-year/120 000-kilometre warranty.