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by David Zalstein

The first details of the new Volkswagen Golf R have been released, revealing the turbocharged four-wheel drive flagship will become the fastest-accelerating production Golf to date.

Teased earlier this week, the all-new Mark VII Volkswagen Golf R promises 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds from its new 221kW/380Nm turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, when teamed with the optional six-speed dual-clutch transmission. That’s 0.6 seconds quicker than the current 188kW/330Nm model when matched to the same gearbox.

The trend is replicated by the standard manual transmission, with triple figures coming up in 5.1 seconds – 0.6 seconds ahead of the model it replaces.

Apart from performance benefits, the engine – shared by the new Audi S3 – helps see reductions in the car’s combined cycle fuel consumption and emissions.

The new range-topping Golf claims 7.1 litres per 100km for the manual and 6.9L/100km for the automatic, with CO2 rated at 165g/km (man) and 159g/km (auto) – up to 18 per cent more efficient than its predecessor’s best figures.

Volkswagen Golf R - 2

Again incorporating Volkswagen’s 4Motion four-wheel-drive system, now in its fifth generation, the Golf R sits 20mm lower than a standard Golf and 5mm lower than a GTI on specially tuned springs and dampers.

Volkswagen says its dynamic chassis control (DCC) system will be available as an option and includes a new ‘Race’ mode for the driving profile selector. Electronic stability control (ESC) can now also be fully deactivated for “driving on a race track”.

Helping the new Golf R look the part are a new front bumper with large air intakes, modified radiator grille with the obligatory ‘R’ logo, and newly developed daytime running lights integrated into the standard bi-xenon headlights.

Out back, smoked LED tail-lights join a rear diffuser flanked by dual chrome-tipped exhaust pipes – gone is the centrally located twin system of the previous generation.

Topping off the exterior are body-coloured sills, 18-inch alloy wheels and black ‘R’-branded brake calipers sitting on 340mm ventilated front discs and 310mm rears.

Not yet shown, the interior is set to feature cloth-centred sports seats with Alcantara bolsters and unique Golf R instrument dials with blue needles.

The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf R is expected to make its official debut at next month’s Frankfurt motor show, beginning on September 10, before launching in Europe shortly afterwards.

The performance model should arrive in local showrooms in the first half of 2014.




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