Volkswagen Pulls the Wraps off the MkVII Golf R
I know, I know. More Volkswagen Golf/GTI coverage. I swear I’m not a VW marketing person moonlighting as a guy who just happens to love his GTI, but that would actually be a pretty good idea, wouldn’t it? Slowly build up a blog while quietly beaming subliminal and superliminal “BUY A VOLKSWAGEN!” messages into your brain, Inception style. VW marketing people, I will absolutely accept payment for the millions I have undoubtedly influenced to buy a GTI.
“What the hell is this nonsensical idiot blabbering about?” you may be asking yourself, and not without good reason. I’ve written about my GTI. I’ve written about concept GTIs. I’ve written about GTIs that aren’t even out yet (in America, at least). And here’s another one, but it’s the range-topping Golf R that has me all flustered today.
“More horsepower, less fuel,” is the commanding force behind new car models in an effort to not only conform to tightening consumption/emissions standards in the US and abroad, but also to relate to the evolving demands of the consumer. Indeed, one of the most important factors driving my own switch from my SN95 Mustang GT was my desire for a MPG figure better than that of a new Viper. It seems that VW understands that need for consumers, and the most powerful seventh generation Golf will not only boast more horsepower than its predecessor (296 vs. 261), but fuel consumption is expected to decrease by 18% to 32 miles per gallon combined city/highway (numbers are most likely in the European cycle). As in the old model, power flows to all four wheels via a Haldex system to combat the torque steer inevitable in high powered FWD cars. Volkswagen notes that under certain circumstances, 100% of the power can drive the rear wheels, which is a neat trick, but it remains to be seen how often the total rear drive bias comes into play.
In addition to the engine upgrades, the dynamic suspension control system that Volkswagen calls DCC will make an appearance (for an extra fee, of course), as will the ability to totally switch off stability control (standard). Exterior kit is limited to larger air inlets up front and a quad tip exhaust system at the rear. The Golf R, like the GTI, is available in 3 or 5 doors and comes standard with a 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG. As with the outgoing Golf R, it is unlikely that all four combinations will make their way stateside, so wait for more details when the Golf R is officially unveiled in Frankfurt.
It may be a little while before the Golf R finally does make it over to the US, as the standard Golf will bow later this year and the GTI makes an appearance in 2014. The car carries an MSRP of €38,325 in Germany, or about €10,000 more than the GTI. Translated for American audiences, it costs roughly $51,000 in Europe, so look for that price to drop significantly when the Golf R debuts here. Figure a few thousand more than the current Golf R, priced at $34,195.