Volkswagen has built a solid reputation on creating fast cars, in the form of their Golf GTI. For the Volkswagen enthusiast that required more power than the GTI Volkswagen produced the R32, aptly named after its 3.2 litre V6 engine, which will be fondly remembered for emitting a great soundtrack. Volkswagen has replaced the R32 with this, the all-new Golf R, and in doing so they have downsized the engine to a 2.0 litre whilst increasing the power output to 270hp, resulting in Volkswagen’s most powerful and fastest accelerating Golf ever produced. This family-sized hatch back can reach 100km/h from a standstill in just 5.5 seconds with the optional DSG transmission fitted, and 5.7 with the six-speed manual gearbox.
Finished in Rising Blue metallic, my test car really looks the part, although apart from some subtle R badges, black door mirrors and the car’s twin exhausts, there’s little to give away this car’s true sporting potential. It’s this polished look which attracts me to a Golf R over a Ford Focus RS. The Golf R’s interior is refined with silver dash insets and top-notch switch gear. My test car had the optional Recaro bucket sports seats which not only look the part, are functional too, by providing lateral support during zealous driving. Customers can choose from a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG gearbox. The DSG gearbox complete with paddle-shift controls worked flawlessly on my test drive. The R’s permanent four wheel drive (4Motion) makes sure there’s no power loss to the wheels under acceleration. It was noticeable when cornering hard in the wet and it’s also a reassurance for winter motoring.
Volkswagen has given the Golf R the extra boost the R32 lacked to keep up with the competition, and delivered it in an attractive albeit fairly pricy package, with the R commencing at €49,905.[table “40” not found /]