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New VW Golf R: The fastest and most powerful Golf ever made

New Volkswagen Golf R

  • New VW Golf R is the most powerful Golf ever made, trumping the outgoing model for pace and acceleration.
  • 320 PS engine sends the R from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds.
  • Go for the ‘R-Performance’ pack and you’ll get a special ‘Drift’ button as well as a drive mode specifically for the track.
  • All models boast all-wheel-drive and new tech to improve handling.
  • Prices not officially revealed yet, but expect to cost from £37,000.

The new Volkswagen Golf R is the fastest and most powerful Golf ever to roll off a production line.

And with a new ‘Drift’ button that helps the hot-hatch go sideways in a cloud of tyre smoke, it’s capable of putting a smile on your face in more ways than one.

The new ‘R’ - that letter first being used on a Golf back in 2003 with the thunderous 3.2 litre V6 Golf R32 - enjoyed its world premiere this week.  

Amid the doom and gloom of fresh social distancing measures brought about by the global pandemic, the release is a little ray of light to remind you that there’s still plenty of fun to be had if you know where to find it.

So where does all this new power come from?

The damage is done by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged TSI engine with 320 PS - a good deal more purposeful than the outgoing model’s 300 PS engine - as well as peak torque of 420 newton metres.

Also bear in mind that the latest Golf GTI generates just 245 PS.

The all-wheel-drive R will accelerate from 0-62mph in just 4.7 seconds - which is again an improvement on the old R’s sprint time of 5.1 seconds.

And the top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph (250 km/h).

But those stats only tell half the story…

You can also order the Golf R with the optional ‘R-Performance’ package, which increases top speed to 167 mph but also includes Torque Vectoring - subtly altering and distributing the engine’s output to the four driven wheels to improve cornering agility.

There are other giveaways the car was honed on the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife, too.

Other running gear systems include the electronic differential locks (XDS) and adaptive chassis control DCC.

Flick it into ‘Special’ mode and it tightens up the response of the 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox - with VW claiming it led to a lap of the Nürburgring 19 seconds quicker than its predecessor (07:51 minutes).

And then there’s the ‘Drift’ mode. A promotional video, which you can watch here, explains: “The drift mode provides a lot of fun and allows the car to drift through torque vectoring. In addition this package includes a special mode optimised for the ‘Green Hell’ - the Nurburgring.”

You can’t get away from how the Golf R looks, either, which is pretty darned good, replete with a huge rear spoiler and quad tailpipes. Five doors means it’s also an almost-practical family car.

Meanwhile a VW spokesperson adds: “The new Golf R now reigns supreme as the product line’s most powerful model to date. With its drive technology, it tops everything that has been launched with the Golf label up to now.”

Of course, if that all sounds too exciting, there are much more sensible Golfs to be had, a car that’s now in its eighth generation.

The Golf is available with a petrol engine (TSI), diesel engine (TDI) featuring cutting-edge twin dosing, natural gas engine (TGI)3, as a 48V mild hybrid (eTSI) and with plug-in hybrid drive (eHybrid).

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