Volkswagen is celebrating the world premiere of the new Golf R today. In Europe, pre-sales of the Golf flagship generating 235 kW (320 PS) already start tomorrow, Thursday, 5 November. The Golf R is traditionally the most powerful model of Volkswagen’s most successful product line of all times. Always with all-wheel drive, always highly dynamic, always with particularly exclusive design and equipment, always a technological benchmark of its class – the Golf class. And it’s no different this time round: the Golf R will be the first Volkswagen to launch with a new all-wheel drive system before the end of this year: 4MOTION with R-Performance Torque Vectoring. This intelligently networked system enables a new dimension of driving dynamics.
With the new sports car, Volkswagen is highlighting the great potential of the Golf, now already in its eighth generation. In future, this icon of the compact class, produced significantly more than 35 million times, will cover an output range of between 66 kW (90 PS) and the 320 PS generated by the new Golf R. The Golf is available with a petrol engine (TSI), diesel engine (TDI) featuring cutting-edge twin dosing, natural gas engine (TGI), as a 48V mild hybrid (eTSI) and with plug-in hybrid drive. This wide range of variations and its both clear-cut as well as contemporary design make the Golf one of the world’s very few high-production-volume models to stand apart from normal vehicle categories.
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. The fifth edition of the sports car accelerates to 100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. However, the Golf R can also be ordered with an optional R-Performance package, which enables the top speed to be increased to 270 km/h. However, it’s less the individual driving performance that shapes the character of the new Golf R, but rather the combination of a powerful 420 newton meters of torque, cutting-edge running gear and the most progressive all-wheel drive in this category that define a new status quo in terms of dynamics.
The new all-wheel drive system and high-tech running gear merge to create a host of innovations, offering maximum agility and driving pleasure. The 4MOTION system with R-Performance Torque Vectoring is the new control centre that distributes the engine’s output to the four driven wheels. A new rear final drive distributes the drive power of the turbocharged petrol engine in the Golf R not just between the front and rear axles, but also variably between the two rear wheels. This makes it possible to significantly increase the agility particularly when cornering. As a world first, the all-wheel drive is also networked via a Vehicle Dynamics Manager (VDM) with other running gear systems such the electronic differential locks (XDS) and adaptive chassis control DCC. Thanks to this close integration of the different systems, the new Golf R offers optimum traction characteristics and neutral handling with the utmost level of precision.
By the way, the new Golf R’s setup was fine-tuned on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. When combined with the R-Performance package, the Golf R even comes with a dedicated Nürburgring driving profile, known as “Special”. As part of this driving profile, all key drive parameters are geared towards the legendary race track – including the new all-wheel drive. And the results are measurable: as shown during in-house test drives, the Golf R – which is equipped with a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) as standard – is up to 19 seconds quicker per lap around Nürburgring Nordschleife than its predecessor (07:51 minutes).
Flashback: it was an automotive sensation – the first Golf R32, introduced in 2002. With its 3.2-litre six-cylinder engine generating 177 kW (241 PS) it was the most powerful Golf that Volkswagen had built up to that point. It was also equipped with all-wheel drive and raced to 100 km/h in only 6.6 seconds. It sold three times as well as had been anticipated. From mid-2003, it was the world’s first Volkswagen available with a dual clutch gearbox (DSG). In 2005, the second Golf R32 made its debut, and with 184 kW (250 PS) it was even more powerful and superior. Four years went by until the 2009 International Motor Show in Frankfurt: at this event, Volkswagen celebrated the world premiere of the successor on the basis of the sixth Golf generation, changing from a V6 naturally-aspirated engine to a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine (TSI) that was 21 percent more efficient. The R32 became the R and with it, the output of the third generation increased to 199 kW (270 PS). In September 2013, the fourth Golf R generation followed on the basis of the Golf 7, once again making its debut at the International Motor Show. With now 221 kW, it broke through the magic 300 PS threshold.