Following the announcement of the Golf R, VW has released more details about the exciting new model and made it available to the press for the first time. While there was previously some speculation that the model might be called R20, in connection with its bigger R32 sibling, it appears this name has been dropped. Although, there’s still an outside chance it could be used if (or when) the car arrives in the US.
The Golf R’s highlights include all-wheel drive, Bi-Xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights. Shifted manually or by optional DSG with a 265hp, it is the most powerful Golf ever built. At the same time, it is the most fuel-efficient Golf R of all times – 21% more fuel efficient than the previous VR6-engined model.
The Golf R sprints from 0-62mph in just 5.7 seconds with the manual transmission, or 5.5 seconds with the DSG. While the retired Golf R32 used 22mpg, the new Golf R only needs 27.7mpg. Accordingly, CO2 emissions are reduced from 255 to 199 g/km.
The TSI’s torque characteristic is just as impressive. By comparison, The six cylinder R32 developed a maximum of 236 lb-ft of torque at 2500rpm. The turbo four-cylinder direct injection engine in the new Golf R, on the other hand, transfers 260 lb-ft to the crankshaft, also available from 2500rpm, but it can maintain this peak value up to 5000rpm.
The Golf R uses the 1984cc EA113 direct-injection gasoline engine. The TSI’s specific power is 136hp per liter displacement thanks to its turbocharger (running up to 1.2-bar boost pressure) with intercooling.
The engine weighs just 152kg and the cylinders have been equipped with reinforcing bolts over less powerful TSI versions. Design engineers also designed stronger connecting rods that can reliably transfer the torque to the crankshaft. Last but not least, the cylinder block was reinforced to handle the forces.
The Golf R transfers power to the road via the latest generation Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system. It underwent significant development since the R32, including an oil bath for the center differential. Furthermore, activation of the all-wheel differential no longer requires a difference between front and rear axle speeds because an electric pump now builds 30-bar of hydraulic oil pressurel to a reservoir. A control module computes the ideal drive torque for the rear axle, and controls how much oil pressure is applied to the working pistons of the multi-plate clutch via a valve. The contact pressure at the clutch plates rises in proportion to the desired torque at the rear axle. The amount of torque that is transferred can be varied continuously by the amount of pressure applied to the clutch plates. Unlike the previous 4Motion, this system operates independent of slip, since the system’s working pressure is always available. So when accelerating from start up, spinning front wheels is prevented more effectively, since the control module regulates torque distribution based on dynamic axle loads. In extreme cases, nearly 100% of the drive torque can be directed to the rear axle for safety and performance.
When it came to the running gear, development engineers retained the familiar McPherson front strut suspension with helical springs and telescoping shock absorbers; at the rear a multi-link suspension ensures the standard ESP system seldom needs to intervene.
The basic GTI layout was transformed into a sport chassis with ride-height lowered 1” (25mm), while the springs, dampers and swat bars were completely re-tuned.
Also available in Europe as an option is DCC dynamic chassis control whose character was fully tuned to the Golf R. This system continually adapts damping to the road surface and driving situation. In addition to the standard "Normal" mode, the driver can manually activate a "Sport" or "Comfort".
The brake system was also modified for the Golf R. Instead of a 16” system, a 17” brake system was used with R-specific calipers painted a high-gloss black with R-logo. In front the rotors are 13.5” (345mm) in diameter, and 12.2” (310mm) at the rear.
The electronic stabilization program (ESP) was also modified. It can be switched to a new Sport mode via the ESP button. During fast cornering, the ESP system delays intervention, enabling more responsive handling.
The electro-mechanical power-assisted steering was re-tuned as well. If the Golf R is ordered with optional DCC dynamic chassis control, the power-assisted steering is given a specially tuned characteristic for each of the system’s driving modes ("Sport", "Normal", "Comfort").
New 18” "Talladega" wheels in "Sterling Silver" are fitted with 225/40 tires as standard equipment. The same wheels are available in a 19” version with 235/35 tires as an option. Customers can also order the 19” wheels in "Glossy Black". Regardless of the colour, when 19” wheels are selected, the headlight housings are always black, and the Golf R windows are tinted from the B-pillars back – remember, these are European specifications that may not be adopted for vehicles sold in the US.
Like previous Golf R32s and the new Scirocco R, the Golf R sports an entirely new set of exterior and interior features. Volkswagen designers have given the car three large air scoops in the front bumper to cool the 265hp engine; louvers in the intakes are painted gloss black, and LED strips serve as daytime running lights in the two outer intakes.
Also painted gloss black are the two slats of the radiator grille, which feature a chrome R-logo on the right-hand side. Bi-Xenon headlights with dynamic cornering light are standard in Europe.
On the sides, the Golf R is recognizable by body-color side skirts and gloss black mirror housings. From the rear, the LED lights stands out along with the diffuser, centrally positioned tailpipes, R-logo and larger roof spoiler.
Inside, the Golf R benefits from newly designed heated "Top Sport seats". The center panels of the sport seats are upholstered in the honeycomb textured grey-black "Kyalami" design; the front edge of the seat is upholstered in Titan Black fabric. The inside panels of the side supports are upholstered with crystal-grey "San Remo" microfibers. The rest of the seat components and the headliner are black. The new R-logo is embroidered in the front head restraints as well. As an option, owners can order Motorsport shell front seats with integrated head restraints and embroidered R-logos. In this case, the centre seat panels are upholstered in the "San Remo" micro-fibre fabric. On the outside, the shell seats are upholstered with black leather.
All seams of the interior are in "Art Grey" (except on Motorsport shell seats), as well as decorative seams on the multi-function three-spoke leather steering wheel. Perforated leather is used at the top and bottom of the steering wheel. The sides of the steering wheel with their ergonomic motorsport attributes are trimmed in leather, while the spokes have piano black paint and the center spoke bears the R-logo.
Also re-styled are the R gearshift knob, floor mats with "Art Grey" piping, aluminum door plates with R-logo and instruments with blue pointers and a speedometer scale that reads up to 186mph (300 km/h). Stainless steel sport pedals, R-specific instrument and door accents in "Silver Lane" round out the custom features.