Volkswagen Golf R (2014–)

Model History

November 2013

Volkswagen Golf R goes on sale

Prices start at £29,900 for 3-door with six-speed manual gearbox, and £31,315 for the 3-door with six-speed DSG gearbox. The 5-door versions cost £30,555 and £31,970 respectively.

Engine is four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharged EA888 TSI petrol as used in the latest Golf GTI, but with modified cylinder head, exhaust valves, valve seats and springs, pistons, injection valves and turbocharger produces 300PS from 5,500 to 6,200 rpm and 380Nm from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm. .

Zero to 60 mph takes 5.0 seconds or 4.7 seconds with optional DSG gearbox. Top speed electronically limited to 155 mph, but unlimited the car can do 170mph. Combined fuel consumption of 39.8 mpg (40.9 mpg DSG) on the EC cycle, and CO 2 emissions of 165 g/km (159 g/km DSG).

The R uses a fifth-generation Haldex 4MOTION four-wheel drive system. Under low loads or when coasting, the rear axle is decoupled, helping to reduce fuel consumption. Drive to the rear axle can be engaged in fractions of a second via the Haldex coupling, which is actuated by an electro-hydraulic pump. Almost 100 per cent of power can be transferred to the rear axle.

Ride height is 20 mm lower than the standard Golf’s (5 mm lower than the GTI’s), while Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC) is an option. For the first time, this offers a ‘Race’ mode, which increases damping, thereby reducing body movements. In conjunction with the driver profile selector (standard on all Golfs from SE), Race mode also attenuates throttle response, and alters the shift pattern of the DSG gearbox (where fitted).

On top of ESC Sport mode, as found on the GTI and GTD, which delays intervention of the electronic stability control system, the R offers the option fully to disengage the ESC, for track driving.

Visually, the R is distinguished by its new front bumper design, with large air inlets, modified radiator grille with ‘R’ logo and daytime running lights that are integrated into the standard bi-xenon headlights. At the side, there are bespoke body-colour sills, and matt chrome-capped door mirrors.

Standard wheels are 18-inch ‘Cadiz’ alloys with 225/40 tyres, while 19-inch ‘Pretoria’ alloys with 235/35 R19 tyres are optional. [WARNING, THE 19-INCH WHEELS ARE VERY EASILY BUCKLED AND COST A FORTUNE TO REPLACE.] The brakes are ventilated discs all round, and measure 30 mm by 340 mm at the front and 22 mm by 310 mm at the rear. For use in winter, 17-inch alloy wheels with 205/50 R17 cold weather or all weather tyres can be fitted.

The interior features cloth sports seats with Alcantara bolsters, with leather upholstery available as an option, while the instrument dials are bespoke for the R, and include typical touches such as blue needles.

November 2017

Performance Pack for Golf R DSG launched

Fitted at the factory, the new Performance Pack comprises the ‘R-Performance’ brake system, a derestricted top speed, and 19-inch ‘Spielberg’ alloy wheels. The hatchback version receives a rear roof spoiler, too. Collectively these enhancements are priced at £2300 (RRP).

Silver-painted callipers mark the ‘R-Performance’ brake system out from the standard set-up. A two kilogram weight saving contributes to the superior performance but it is the ‘built pin discs’ that provide a superior feel for the driver.

A top speed limited to 155 mph applies to the Golf R in both hatchback and Estate forms. However, that limit is removed when the Performance Pack is specified – thereby unleashing the full potential of the car’s 310 PS 2.0-litre TSI engine. In derestricted form, the hatchback model will reach 166 mph and the Estate 168 mph.

Additionally, when the Performance Pack is specified, the 18-inch ‘Cadiz’ alloy wheels fitted to the standard Golf R are upgraded to 19-inch ‘Spielberg’ alloys. And customers of the hatchback model will have an extra rear spoiler lip fitted to their Golf R, which adds a useful 20 kilograms of downforce.

Alongside the arrival of the Performance Pack, Volkswagen is now also offering a bespoke sports exhaust package for hatchback versions of the new Golf R, whether they are equipped with a manual or a DSG gearbox. It is available separately for the hatchback Golf R and is priced at £2,975 (RRP).

August 2018

Power output of Golf R reduced from 310PS to 300PS in order to meet WLTP NOx, CO2 and fuel economy targets.

What does a Volkswagen Golf R (2014) cost?

Contract hire from £289.04 per month