With 296 horsepower and a 0 to 62 mph in just 4.9 seconds Volkswagen latest and most powerful hatch to date is impressive. The new Volkswagen Golf R turned to its performance division Volkswagen R GmbH to further improve the hot hatch. The Golf gets its 296 ponies and 280 lb-ft of torque from a redesigned TSI engine that's been through a rigorous motorsports-style development program. The advanced EA8888 engine is a four-cylinder turbocharged direct injected 2.0-liter powerplant that's usually fitted in the Golf GTI except components such as the cylinder head, pistons, injections valves and turbocharger have been modified. The result is a 22 lb-ft and a 30 horsepower advantage from the former Golf engine. Even with the upgraded dynamic performance of the Golf R it still has an 18 per cent more fuel-efficient engine than its predecessor engine. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.
The layout of Golf R will use a new 4MOTION all-wheel drive system that optimizes traction in both street and track conditions. It's a permanent all-wheel drive system that uses refinements such as the Halidex 5 coupling that activates the 4MOTION system before any wheel spin occurs. To calculate the ideal drive torque for the rear wheels, a control unit operates how much the multi-plate clutch should be closed by activating the oil pump. The Halidex coupling also acts as a longitudinal lock, where the system briefly brakes a wheel that is slipping to provide uninterrupted and a stable transfer of drive power to the opposite wheel.
Styling of the new Golf R has been revised, but retains its sporty characteristics. The exterior has newly designed taillights, bumpers, side sills and a dual branch exhaust system with four chrome tailpipes. Additional exterior features include Bi-Xenon headlights, and 18-inch "Cadiz" wheels. "The Golf R creates an exciting balance between seriousness and sportiness and between restraint and differentiation," says Klaus Bischoff, Head of Volkswagen Design.
The interior has been extensively upgraded featuring top sport seats in the front, middle panels are designed in Titan Black "Race" fabric with black stitching, while the side panels are made out of Alcantra. Ambient lighting is integrated in the door trim panels and the door sill guards are illuminated in blue. Both foot support and pedals come with a clean stainless-steel look as standard.
Customers can opt for a manual gearbox or a dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission. The Golf R comes standard with Volkswagen's newest developed progressive steering system. The new steering operates with a progressive steering gear ratio to reduce steering effort in maneuvering and parking. From lock to lock the progressive steering provides 2.1 turns of the wheel which is 380 degrees.
Drivers of the car will have access to the Driving Profile Selector. The Golf R has been designed with 5 modes "Eco", "Normal", "Individual" and a "Race" mode. Whether you're stuck in traffic or at the stretching that engine muscle at the racetrack the Golf R has you covered. Volkswagen's most powerful Golf will hit markets at the end of 2013 and pricing has yet to be announced. With all its newest specs we expect it to be around $35,000.