Golf drives up the power

VW have made this R-model af­ford­able

Lennox Herald - - SERVICES -

Only a few years ago a car ca­pa­ble of sprint­ing to 62mph in just 4.9 seconds and boast­ing a top speed elec­tron­i­cally limited to 155mph would have been an ex­otic Su­per­car cost­ing a for­tune.

Nowyou can get this type of per­for­mance froma Volk­swa­genGolf.

TheGolfRis the most pow­er­fulGolf yet and­with prices start­ing fromjust over £29,000 it of­fers in­cred­i­ble per­for­mance for the money.

At the heart of theRis a newly de­vel­oped ver­sion of the four­cylin­der 2.0-litre tur­bocharged TSI unitwhich pow­ers theGolf GTI but ithas been mod­i­fied to pro­duce a thump­ing 300PS.

Thishas been achieved through amod­i­fied cylin­der head, ex­haust valves, valve seats and springs, pis­tons and a big­ger tur­bocharger.

As a re­sult the sprint to 62mph­takes just 5.3 seconds in the six-speed­man­ual ver­sion and 4.9 sec­ondswhen­theRis fit­ted­with theDSGtwin­clutch vari­antwhich fea­tures launch con­trol and adds an­other £1,400 or so to the tab.

Even­with all this power and per­for­mance on­tapVW en­gi­neer­shave­m­an­aged to make this­newR18 per cent­more ef­fi­cient thanits pre­de­ces­sor. Emis­sions have been re­duced to 165g/km for the­man­ual and 159g/km for theDSG box. The­com­bined fuel con­sump­tion fig­ures are 39.8mpg and 40.9mpg re­spec­tively but don’t ex­pect to get any­thing like that in real world con­di­tions as most peo­ple­whobuy anRwill­want to en­joy its per­for­mance.

TheRsits even lower than the GTI and is20mm­slower than the nor­malGolf fam­ily mod­els. It fea­tures anewfront bumper de­sign­with big air in­lets, anRra­di­a­tor grille­with a chromestri­p andRl­ogo and new­day­time run­ning lights.

At the back you get LED­light clus­ters and a quad ex­haust, while su­perb look­ing al­loys help con­trib­ute to the sport­ing look.

In­side the cabin is a nice blend of hothatch and ex­ec­u­tive car luxury. The stan­dard­Golf’s dash is lifted by a gloss black cen­tre con­sule and some­car­bon-look dec­o­ra­tive trim. Th­es­ports seats are very com­fort­able and the ped­als are­made from alu­minium while the steer­ing wheel is sporty and mul­ti­func­tional. In­te­rior light­ing is first class and the in­stru­ments fea­ture blue di­als. You also get a load of kit for your cash, in­clud­ingBlue­tooth, park­ing sen­sors, adaptive cruise con­trol and aDABra­dio.

TheGolfR’s 4MO­TION four-wheel drive isVW’s lat­est gen­er­a­tion of theHaldex sys­tem and it gives theR­grip and trac­tion that can­not be matched by any of its fron­twheel-drive only ri­vals.

The­newRfeels ef­fort­lessly quick at all times and the all­wheel-drive sys­tem lets you ex­plore its power to the limit. To in­crease your en­joy­ment amode switch al­lows you to choose fromEco, Nor­mal, Race or In­di­vid­ual set­tings and you can re­ally feel the dif­fer­ence­whenyou start play­ing around with them.

De­spite its blis­ter­ing pace theR is still a veryprac­ti­cal hatch­back and is avail­able­with three or five doors. Ithas all the lat­est safety fea­tures like any nor­malGolfwit­h the abil­ity to carry four adults and a de­cent amount of lug­gage.

I tested the three­door mod­el­with the man­ual six-speed box which car­ried a start­ing price of £29,095. Anad­di­tional £535 re­sulted ina fab­u­lous Lapiz Blue paint job, a fur­ther £815 addedDy­nam­icChas­sisCon­trol, while £1,765 added the Dis­cover Nav­i­ga­tion pack­age. A fur­ther £895 bought spe­cial al­loys and aw­in­ter pack­age which adds heated seats and heated wind­screen washer jets cost an­other £355.

This­took the to­tal price to a hefty £34,265. That­may seem a lot for aGolf butwhenyou get Su­per­car per­for­mance­with­out the­huge costs it is a bar­gain.

Tops theVWGolf R

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