Hot four-wheel-drive Mk7 Golf R promises to be the quickest yet with a 0-62mph time of 4.9sec
Mark Tisshaw
13 January 2014

The new Volkswagen Golf R has been seen at the Detroit motor show.

The car comes equipped with 296bhp and sports car-baiting levels of performance, including a 0-62mph time of less than five seconds.  

This, the fourth-generation R version of the Golf, is the most potent yet, with four-wheel drive, a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine and front and rear electronic differentials among the spec highlights.

The Golf R’s 296bhp, 280lb ft 2.0 TSI engine is a significantly updated version of the EA888 found in the new Golf GTI. Changes over its application in the GTI include a new cylinder head, pistons, high-pressure injection valves and a new turbocharger.

Equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, it can crack 0-62mph in 5.3sec. But when mated to the six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the 0-62mph time drops to a Porsche 911-rivalling 4.9sec. Top speed is limited to 155mph.

The Golf R is equipped with VW’s latest-generation 4Motion permanent all-wheel drive Haldex system. VW says the system eradicates wheelspin and slip, and up to 100 per cent of the torque can be sent to each of the axles depending on the driving situation. XDS+ electronic differentials are fitted to the front and rear axles to brake individual wheels if high loads are detected, helping to reduce understeer. Uprated brakes are also fitted. 

The new Golf R’s suspension is lowered by 5mm compared with the Golf GTI and has been stiffened and tuned for a more involving drive. VW claims to have improved both the ride comfort and agility of the Golf R compared with the previous model. A progressive steering system is also offered, as is an optional Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) system that adapts the dampers to one of three standard modes: Comfort, Normal and Sport.

Opting for the DCC also adds the Drive Profile Selector, which tunes the Golf R to one of five driving modes: Eco, Normal, Comfort, Sport and Race. The driver will also be able to mix and match the traits that alter in these modes — such as gearshift patterns and throttle response — through an Individual mode.

Styling changes include new front and rear bumpers, wider sills, a rear diffuser and twin exhausts. The Golf R is fitted with 18in alloys as standard and 19in wheels will be available on the options list. Inside, sports seats are offered along with a bespoke trim.

Volkswagen says the Golf R will go on sale in spring 2014, and prices are tipped to come in below £30,000 for a manual-equipped three-door Golf R, with the DSG-equipped cars carrying a premium of around £1200.

Read more Detroit motor show.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Golf R 2010-2012

The Volkswagen Golf R is based on the Audi S3, but is rated below it due to less standard equipment and extra cost

Join the debate


20 August 2013

Go to have to be really good,because there's more competition now,the Mountune ST is quite good,and cheaper,over to you neighboureno's,diddley doodlay!!!

Peter Cavellini.

20 August 2013

I like it, but it does seem to be an exact clone of the Audi S3.

Demonic Soul

20 August 2013

It is an Audi S3/A3 clone, or rather the S3/A3 is a Golf clone as the cars are the same car apart from some sheet metal, plastic mouldings and badges and a huge price difference. Badge engineering come of age.

20 August 2013

Prices tipped to come in below £30k? Given the basic GTi starts at £26k  it's almost impossible to contemplate this R being less than £30k next year.


20 August 2013

Another waste of space on the road. 

Too many vw group looking the same at ridiculous prices.

Total waste of space.


20 August 2013

Impressive performance = makes 1990 supercars look slow in comparison.

I really hope that before being allowed to purchase this vehicle, some sort of test is created to establish that the buyer is "able and responsible" to manage such extreme performance.

Otherwise god help everyone else on the road 

Can't help think a limit on power and performance for regular road cars is now overdue before too many people get hurt.


20 August 2013

I propose a new health and safetly campaign to wrap everybody in thick cotton wool to ensure safety of all pedestrians and car drivers. I am sure any responsible Labour government will jump at the chance for this sort of legislation.  It could be paid for by those who voted Tory in the next general election and anyone who can afford this sort of car,  (which by the way, along with the S3, looks like the fastest way to get from A to B on a slightly greasy B road). How lucky are we to have such a choice at a price point within the grasp of a potentially large group of buyers.

20 August 2013

"Volkswagen says the Golf R will go on sale in spring 2014, and prices are tipped to come in below £30,000 ..." ... After I finished laughing, I thought yes, that will be for the BASIC car before you start adding on those essential options ... I would've thought that a "starting price" of around £36K was more realistic ...

20 August 2013

Those wheels look too big surely the point of a VW performance car is a bit of subtlety, they look like aftermarket additions.  

20 August 2013

the big issue with this is that its getting close to the german rivals of BMW and Mercedes Benz now making it much harder to avoid comparing them between with all there stats etc

and it does not look like a £30 grand car


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