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by Tim Beissmann

The fastest and most powerful Golf in history, the Volkswagen Golf R, has launched in Australia from $51,990.

The optional six-speed ‘DSG’ dual-clutch transmission again adds $2500 over the standard six-speed manual, making the auto version $54,490.

The pricing makes the Mk7 hot-hatch $2000 more expensive than its predecessor, and positions the Golf R DSG almost perfectly between the $48,490 Golf GTI Performance and the mechanically similar $59,990 Audi S3 Sportback.

Powering the Volkswagen Golf R is a turbocharged 2.0-litre direct injection four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 206kW between 5100-6500rpm and 380Nm from 1800-5100rpm, giving it a 37kW/30Nm advantage over the GTI Performance and an 18kW/50Nm boost over the old Golf R.

Volkswagen-Golf-R-3

Underpinned by Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system, the Golf R claims to sprint from 0-100km/h in 5.0 seconds with the DSG and 5.2sec with the manual, wiping 0.7sec off the old model’s time and bettering the GTI Performance by more than a second.

Sixty kilograms lighter than before (1416kg manual/1435kg DSG), the new Golf R is also roughly 17 per cent more fuel efficient than before, claiming combined cycle figures of 7.3 litres per 100km for the manual and 7.1L/100km for the DSG.

The Golf R’s adaptive chassis control offers three driving modes – Comfort, Normal and Race – each modifying the damping force, the latter tuned for the most dynamic handling performance.

Five modes are also available via the Golf R’s driving profile selector: Eco, Normal, Individual, Comfort and Race; the latter again specific to the flagship hot-hatch, increasing the damping and engine response and reconfiguring the shift points of the DSG.

Volkswagen-Golf-R-4

The Golf R is easily distinguishable from its GTI siblings, boasting signature styling enhancements including larger black front air intakes and rear diffuser, matt chrome mirror caps, black brake calipers with ‘R’ logos, dual chrome exhaust outlets, and 19-inch ‘Cadiz’ alloy wheels.

Keyless entry provides access to the cabin, which features push-button start, ‘Race’ pattern cloth/alcantara sports seats with grey stitching, and piano black and carbon-look trim inserts.

Options include a panoramic sunroof ($1850), leather upholstery ($3150), and a $1000 driver assistance package that adds adaptive cruise control, front assist with city emergency brake function, and proactive occupant protection system.

CarAdvice is attending the local launch of the new Volkswagen Golf R in Victoria this week. Stay tuned for our review, coming soon.




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