What is it? The Golf R is the top-level trim of the VW hatchback lineup. Adding all-wheel drive to the spec of the GTI and boosting turbo boost pressure to increase horsepower, reportedly to about 265. A six-speed manual will be the only transmission available. Volkswagen says brakes and suspension will be upgraded, and the car will be available in both three- and five-door body styles.
What’s new or notable? For the last generation of it’s halo car, the R32, VW installed its big 3.2-liter narrow-angle V6, along with all-wheel-drive and a standard DSG transmission. When we tested it, we found the extra engine weight and automatic transmission actually made it less fun to drive than the standard GTI, as well as much more expensive and thirsty for fuel. This formula sounds much more appropriate – actually boosting the fun and function at less cost.
When will it be available? Fall 2011