The new VW Golf R certainly puts the ‘R’ in GrrrrR, with a 62mph sprint time of just 4.9 seconds! The fastest Golf ever to stalk the planet packs the kind of performance arsenal that’ll surely see established four-wheel drive fast road cars, like the Mitsi EVO and Subaru Imprezza, firmly in its traffic light drag race sights. This new, 155mph uber-Golf will make its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.
Under the R’s stocky hood sits a 2-litre, 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that makes a very useful near-300bhp and 380Nm of torque. This potent motor is an evolution of the EA888 TSI engine as used in the new Golf GTI, but with some extra go-faster goodies. The Golf R’s engine enjoys a modified cylinder head, exhaust valves, valve seats and springs, pistons, injection valves and, of course, a meatier turbo.
Now, all this grunt would likely be a bit of a handful through the front tyres only, so it’s 4MOTION four-wheel drive all the way for the new Golf R. Supplied by famous four-wheel drive engineers, Haldex, the rear axle is decoupled during low power load situations, turning the R into a front-driver to reduce fuel consumption through transmission drag. It is said to take mere fractions of a second for the drive to the rear axle to be re-engaged via the Haldex electro-hydraulic coupling, and almost all of the engine power can go to the rear axle if slip at the front is detected. Does this mean that the new Golf R can pull monster rear wheel power-slides? Can’t wait to find out!
Being the most hardcore Golf you can buy means that the R’s chassis is focused for max attack. Golf R gets new suspension springs and dampers and sits a further 5mm lower than the Golf GTI. An Adaptive Chassis Control system will be offered as an option, allowing drivers to pick and choose their suspension feel and response of choice. Steering too is sharpened for R, and the brakes are bigger.
Golf R gets a good beef-up all over basically, with a special front bumper, a modified radiator grille with that all-important ‘R’ logo, as well as new LED daytime running lights. Deeper side skirts get the R closer to the road, while the standard-size 18-inch alloy wheels (bigger optional) frame black brake calipers with ‘R’ logos. Rounding out the R’s rear-end are smoked LED tail lights, an ‘R’ diffuser and four chrome-tipped exhaust pipes to deliver the juicy turbo burble.
Fast VW Golf fans have really got something to look forward to with this new R. Indeed, drivers of the usual-quick-suspects, turbo Japanese cars have probably got something to worry about, too!
By Dan Anslow
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