Volkswagen Golf R – Naturally evolving

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R has always been synonymous with, well maybe reverse, but also race, sportiness and performance. A cliché perhaps, but the thing is, Volkswagen already has a car that fills all those categories. The GTI. What do you then do to evolve, while still keeping to the Volkswagen concept of usable and approachable? Well, with the last generation R showing that it is possible to evolve the GTI concept into a four wheel drive little pocket rocket. And now in the latest generation, it is time to get into what changes have been made to the Golf R mk8.

Boasting the same engine as in the GTI Clubsport, so the EA888 evo4. Although producing 320 hp and 420 Nm. Not the biggest change compared to the updated mk7, and with a 0-100 km/h in 4,7 seconds, it won’t be smashing any records. But don’t get bogged down in numbers, because the R is the car that can combine performance with usability in the way that no other can.

The four wheel drive system has seen some updates. Now available with rear wheel torque vectoring, which is becoming more common. A system that regulates the power sent to each of the rear wheel. However, the whole system can also regulate power to both the front and to the rear wheels. Change the mode button, and the e-diff (XDS), adaptive chassis control (DCC), and the four wheel drive system all work together to give and even greater change of character. According to Volkswagen, the ideal mode to be in is Sport, at least if you want the R experience. The most hardcore setting, Race, available with a direct button on the steering wheel, makes the car louder with active valves in the exhaust, the steering changes, and so on.

The optional R-Performance package adds special and drift modes. Special has been developed on Nurburgring, and is 17 seconds faster than its predecessor with a total time of 7 minutes and 53 seconds. Drift does what you expect. This performance package not only gives you recalibrated driving aids. It also increases the top speed to 270 km/h, ads a bigger rear “spoiler” and 19” rims.

It is finally in the 8th generation Golf that I think wears the R look the best. Still understated, with hints strategically placed, the sharper lines were the logical choice forward, not only for the R, but for the Golf in general.

No pictures of the interior has been released yet, and the same with the price. It will be available on the market in the end of November. Logically, the Golf R would be starting from around 43 k euros.

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