Note: this article is about the European version.
Volkswagen is continuing its Golf product offensive with the flagship of the model series, the new Golf R. The sports car of the lineup is powered by a newly designed 296-horsepower TSI engine, which is 30 hp stronger but up to 18 per cent more fuel efficient than the engine in the previous model.
Like all three previous Golf R models, the new model also transfers its turbocharged power to the road via a permanent all-wheel drive system; in this case, the latest version of the 4MOTION system with a fifth-generation Haldex coupling. To ensure great chassis dynamics, there's a new sport suspension, the progressive variable-ratio steering system, and a stability control system ("ESC Sport") which can now be deactivated for track driving. Other highlights include the optional DCC dynamic chassis control system that features a Race mode.
With a manual transmission, the 2014 Golf R reaches 62 mph from rest in just 5.3 seconds, an improvement of 0.4 sec over the previous Golf R. With the DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, the car completes the sprint in just 4.9 seconds. The Golf R's top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.
Despite the car's agile handling and extra power, fuel consumption of the manual Golf R was reduced from 28 to 33 mpg. CO2 emissions also improved from 199 to 165 g/km. Equipped with a Stop-Start system, battery regeneration, and the optional DSG transmission, the car is even more fuel efficient, with an EC Combined figure of 34 mpg (159 g/km CO2).
The new Golf R is equipped with an extensive package of exclusive features. Along with specially designed bumpers, side skirts, and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, the Golf R can also be visually distinguished by details such as: standard Bi-Xenon headlights with newly designed LED daytime running lights (in a dual-U design); dark red LED taillights; and a two-branch exhaust system with four chrome tips. Inside, the Golf R underlines its position as the flagship of the model range with sport seats in a "fabric-Alcantara" material mix, a leather-trimmed three-spoke sport steering wheel, ambient lighting, automatic climate control, and a touchscreen radio system. The most powerful and fuel-efficient Golf R will be launched in the fourth quarter of this year, in two- and four-door forms.