THE CHANGES may be considered streamlining more than overhauling, but the Golf R looks sharper and certainly runs swifter.
The top-of-the-line Golf variant delivers a ride that is exciting without being reckless and gets the adrenaline pumping when the energy flows.
The Golf R kicks the game into a higher gear as it gives Volkswagen’s popular hatch a fiery resolve. The R we are getting here is a slightly detuned version that packs a little less punch, mainly to cope with our climate. That said, it’s not lacking in enthusiasm.
The 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system is mated with a newly-developed 7-speed DSG gearbox, with the two clutches running in an oil bath.
The Golf R is quick to hit its peak torque of 380Nm at just under 2,000rpm. Thereafter the purr of the engine and the grip and determination of the Golf R set it apart from the chasing models.
What’s Your Mode?
You have a choice of modes, though there’s only one that moves body and soul. While there’s no shortage of oomph in the eco and normal modes, it’s in Sport that you feel the car respond with enthusiasm.
In Sport mode, the rumble gets deeper along with little engine pops. But it’s never intrusive. You can still carry on a conversation with your nervous passenger as the Golf R whizzes about, taking corners with ease, not giving way in the grip department. And you can comfortably hear your favourite music pumped out through the Dynaudio system via your Bluetooth apps.
A 9.2″ centre console infotainment display has a limited gesture control — essentially moving the pages — and poking at the desired functions. But it does give good directions when the navigation is on.
Drivers get their own 12.3″ fully digital display, which they can customise to suit their preference. The information is clear and easy to read and accessible via the multi-function steering wheel.
Though, with a rapid R, you may prefer to have a head-up display. Unfortunately, that’s not available across the model range.
Maybe the next round?
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VOLKSWAGEN GOLF R TECH SPECS
Engine: 4-cylinder, 16 valves turbocharged
Max Power: 215kW@5,400-6,500rpm
Max Torque: 380Nm@1,850-5,300rpm
Transmission: 7-speed DSG
0-100kmh: 4.6 seconds
Top Speed: 250kmh
Retail price: *$201,400
Please reconfirm price with the dealer.
Read more STORM car reviews HERE.