VOLK­SWA­GEN GOLF R FI­NAL EDI­TION

VW bids farewell to the Mk7.5 Golf R in colour­ful style

Motor (Australia) - - FRONT END. JUST LAUNCHED - BY • TIM ROB­SON

IT’S BEEN A WHILE since some­one pulled me up to chat about the colour of the car I’m driv­ing, yet it hap­pened on a good half-dozen oc­ca­sions in the brief time I took charge of Volk­swa­gen’s Golf R Fi­nal Edi­tion.

The hue seen here is known as Viper Green Metal­lic, and for a more $300 on top of the $57,990 ask, it’s hard to think of ways to at­tract more at­ten­tion from the Great Un­washed.

There are 450 Fi­nal Edi­tions up for grabs, 150 of them in three vary­ing shades of ‘look over here’ – Vic­tory Blue, Vi­o­let Touch Pearles­cent and the afore­men­tioned Viper Green. White, blue and black are no-cost op­tions, if jelly­bean paint ain’t your bag.

Black 19-inch rims, car­bon-ef­fect leather trim and dark tint­ing are also part of the R, which it­self is $1500 dearer than the 213kW/380Nm­pack­ing stocker. A $1900 sun­roof is the only avail­able add-on.

Un­changed is the seven-speed dual-clutch ’box, all-wheel drive and 2.0-litre EA888 four-pot­ter, while the big mul­ti­me­dia screen and dig­i­tal dash do a good job of keep­ing the Mk7.5 warhorse in the now.

There’s no ar­gu­ing, though, that drop­ping into the black leather bucket feels like a move I’ve done a dozen times be­fore, and de­spite the elec­tronic toys on the in­side and cool LED lights on the out­side, the Golf is start­ing to show its crows feet. No rear USB points, for ex­am­ple, and no in­duc­tive phone charger re­veals the R’s, erm, ad­vanc­ing age.

The driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is, thank­fully, un­sul­lied by the pas­sage of years, though those look­ing for play­ful and darty should prob­a­bly look else­where.

The R has al­ways of­fered a de­pend­able – if pre­dictable – com­bi­na­tion of mid­corner poise and cor­ner-exit punch that’s dulled by re­luc­tance from the front end to be con­vinced to grip up.

The abil­ity to cy­cle through the ar­ray of driv­ing modes on of­fer im­parts a real sense of dual per­son­al­ity, though, with a big dif­fer­ence be­tween full at­tack and laid-back.

I’m hop­ing the Mk8 comes with big­ger flappy pad­dles and a more in­te­grated dig­i­tal pre­sen­ta­tion, and the ru­moured ex­tra grunt from the ev­er­green EA888 won’t go astray in a world of Civic Type Rs and i30 Ns.

We al­ready know, though, that VW will im­part new elec­tronic chas­sis trick­ery to al­low the diff and sus­pen­sion to work more closely, which may bring the funk back to the rel­a­tively be­nign R.

I bet you won’t be able to get that same shade of green, though.

BE­LOW Mk7.5 Golf in­te­rior is be­gin­ning to show its age; if you’re think­ing of get­ting one, def­i­nitely do not look at images of the new Mk8 Golf in­te­rior

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