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by George Skentzos

While the R32 nameplate may be missing from the latest generation Golf range, Volkswagen has not left the hot hatch without a flagship – officially introducing the new Golf R at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Enthusiasts need not be disappointed by the removal of the trademark V6 with the new Golf R boasting the title as the fastest-accelerating Volkswagen ever.

The Golf R is equipped with a 2.0-litre TSI four-cylinder engine producing peak power of 199kW at 6000rpm and 350Nm coupled with a new generation all-wheel-drive system.

Not only is the new engine 35kg lighter and 15kW more powerful than the 3.2-litre V6 found in the outgoing Golf R32, it is also more efficient with a combined fuel economy figure of just 7.1 litres per 100km while CO2 emissions fall from 257 g/km to 199 g/km.


Despite its gains in efficiency, the new car can accelerate from rest to 100km/h in just 5.7 seconds, or 0.2 seconds quicker when equipped with a six-speed DSG transmission.

The four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine is derived from the MkV Golf GTI and features a reinforced cylinder block, uprated pistons, conrods ,high pressure injectors, an uprated turbocharged and new intercooler.

The new 345mm front brakes are joined by uprated suspension that has been lowered by 25mm with revised spring and damper rates and new anti-roll bars.


The Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) has also been revised for the Golf R with two stages designed for track use.

Unlike the four-wheel-drive system offered on the R32 that relied on differing wheel speeds between the front and rear axles to engage the four-wheel drive, the system fitted to the Golf R uses a pre-charged hydraulic system that’s able to react more quickly while also limiting the torque being channeled through either axle to reduce wheelspin.

In certain circumstances, the Golf R is able to channel 100 per cent of the torque available to the rear wheels if required.


To differentiate the Golf R from the standard Golf or GTI model, it features new front and rear bumpers complete with LED running lights at the front and a gloss black diffuser at the rear housing a pair of central exit exhausts.

A set of Xenon headlights, new black grille and wing mirrors create a menacing look which the sill extensions are flanked by 18-inch five-spoke wheels complete with 225/40 tyres as standard – 19-inch wheels with 235/35 tyres are optional.

Inside, owners will be greeted by a set of distinctive aluminium ‘R’ kick plates which are joined by new seats finished in grey Alcantara contrasted against high-grip black mesh cloth.

The new Golf R is set to arrive in the UK in December with local prices and specifications due to be announced closer to launch.