Golf R Mk VII

The Volkswagen Golf R

Inspired by the technology, performance and excitement of motorsport, the Golf R is the most powerful and fastest production Golf ever built by Volkswagen. Launched in the UK in March 2014, the flagship R has won acclaim for its breathtaking performance, surefooted composure and dynamic handling.

Available in three and five door hatchback and Estate forms, the Golf R has raised the benchmark for performance Golf models and perfectly showcases Volkswagen’s design and engineering knowledge and skills.

At the heart of the Golf R is a special version of the four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharged EA888 TSI petrol engine used in the Golf GTI. Thanks to a modified cylinder head, exhaust valves, valve seats and springs, pistons, injection valves and turbocharger, the version fitted to the Golf R produces 300 PS from 5,500 to 6,200 rpm and 380 Nm (280 lbs ft) from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm. Zero to 62 mph takes 5.1 seconds (versus 5.7 seconds for previous Golf R), or 4.9 seconds with optional DSG gearbox. The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. Despite this increased performance, a combined fuel consumption of 39.8 mpg (40.9 mpg DSG), and CO2 emissions of 165 g/km (159 g/km DSG) make the Golf R up to 18 per cent more efficient than its predecessor.

To help drivers fully exploit the engine’s performance, the Golf R uses a fifth-generation Haldex 4MOTION four-wheel drive system. Under low loads or when coasting, the rear axle is decoupled, helping to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Drive to the rear axle can be engaged in fractions of a second via the Haldex coupling, which is actuated by an electro-hydraulic pump. Almost 100 per cent of power can be transferred to the rear axle if required.

The ride height is 20 mm lower than the standard Golf’s (5 mm lower than the GTI’s), while Volkswagen’s acclaimed Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC) system is available as an option. The DCC system offers a ‘Race’ mode, that increases damping, thereby reducing body movements.  In conjunction with the driver profile selector (standard on all Golfs from SE), Race mode also attenuates throttle response, and alters the shift pattern of the DSG gearbox (where fitted).

On top of ESC Sport mode, as found on the GTI and GTD, which delays intervention of the electronic stability control system, the R offers the option fully to disengage the ESC, for track driving. And, like the Golf GTI and GTD, the Golf R is equipped with progressive steering, which reduces the number of turns lock to lock to just 2.1, from 2.75.

Visually, the R is distinguished by its striking front bumper design, with large air inlets, modified radiator grille with ‘R’ logo and daytime running lights that are integrated into the standard bi-xenon headlights. At the side, there are bespoke body-colour sills, and matt chrome-capped door mirrors. The rear of the Golf R features a distinctive diffuser at the lower edge of the bumper, along with discreet R badging and four chrome tailpipes.

The standard wheels are 18-inch ‘Cadiz’ alloys with 225/40 tyres, while 19-inch ‘Pretoria’ alloys are optional. The brakes are ventilated discs all round, and measure 30 mm by 340 mm at the front and 22 mm by 310 mm at the rear.

Like all Golf Mk VIIs, the Golf R is lighter than its predecessor, with a kerbweight of 1,476 kg / 1,495 kg for DSG, which is 45 kg / 46 kg less than the Mk VI, and just 94 kg / 93 kg more than the GTI with Performance Pack. 

The interior features cloth sports seats with Alcantara bolsters, with leather upholstery available as an option, while the instrument dials are bespoke for the R, and include typical touches such as blue needles on the instrument display.

As befits a model at the top of the Golf range, the R is exceptionally well equipped and features a touchscreen Composition Media system with smartphone integration and DAB, bi-xenon headlights and a leather-trimmed multi-function steering wheel as standard.

Summary

  • The Golf R is the most powerful and fastest production Golf ever built by Volkswagen. It was launched in the UK in 2014
  • Powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that produces 300 PS from 5,500 to 6,200 rpm and 380 Nm (280 lbs ft) from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm
  • Zero to 62 mph takes 5.1 seconds (versus 5.7 seconds for previous Golf R), or 4.9 seconds with optional DSG gearbox. The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph
  • Despite its exceptional performance, the Golf R is capable of returning 39.8 mpg (40.9 mpg DSG) on the combined cycle and has, and CO2 emissions of 165 g/km (159 g/km DSG)
  • Optional Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) system offers a ‘Race’ mode, that increases damping, thereby reducing body movements
  • Golf R uses a fifth-generation Haldex 4MOTION four-wheel drive system. Under low loads or when coasting, the rear axle is decoupled, helping to reduce fuel consumption and emissions
  • Drive to the rear axle can be engaged in fractions of a second via the Haldex coupling, which is actuated by an electro-hydraulic pump. Almost 100 per cent of power can be transferred to the rear axle if required.
  • The Golf R is lighter than its predecessor, with a kerbweight of 1,476 kg / 1,495 kg for DSG, which is 45 kg / 46 kg less than the Mk VI
  • Bespoke Golf R styling package includes deeper bumpers, side sill and 18-inch ‘Cadiz’ alloy wheels as standard
  • Interior features sports seats, Alcantara trim and a host of design features reserved for the R model
  • Composition Media touchscreen system fitted as standard offers smartphone integration and DAB
  • Unique suspension system includes modified control arms at the front and revised toe link bushes at the rear. Ride height is lowered by 20mm over standard Golf
  • The brakes are ventilated discs all round, and measure 30 mm by 340 mm at the front and 22 mm by 310 mm at the rear.
  • Driver assistance and safety systems include Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, XDS+ and ESC Sport as standard

Dimensions

Exterior dimensions (mm)

Length                                                                                         4,276
Width – excl. door mirrors – 3-door/5-door                          1,799
Height                                                                                         1,436
Height – opened tailgate/floor                                               1,990
Wheelbase                                                                                 2,630
Turning circle                                                                            10.9m

Interior dimensions

Effective headroom – front (with sunroof)                            1,018 (999)
Effective headroom – rear (with sunroof)                             967 (967)
Interior width, front – 3-door/5-door                                       1,469
Interior width, rear – 3-door/5-door                                       1,440

Maximum luggage capacity (litres VDA method)

With rear seats upright                                                            343
With rear seats folded                                                             1,233

DESIGN

Exterior

Striking from every angle, the Golf R cleverly combines bold, new features with trademark design touches inspired by the brand’s performance car heritage.  The Golf R can be distinguished from the front by a new bumper design with exceptionally large air inlets, modified radiator grille (complete with "R" logo) and newly developed daytime running lights that are integrated into the housings of the bi-xenon headlights. The LED daytime running lights form a distinctive dual "U" design beneath the dual headlights giving the R a unique look and night-time light signature.

At the side, the Golf R’s distinctive profile is enhanced by lowered suspension, muscular front and rear bumpers and bold 18-inch ‘Cadiz’ alloy wheels that fill the wheel arches. Extended side sills, matt chrome door mirrors and black painted brake callipers further enhance the sporting feel, while the rear end features four chrome exhaust pipes and a motorsport-inspired diffuser at the lower edge of the bumper.

For a real touch of exclusivity, ‘Lapiz Blue’ metallic signature paint is reserved for Golf R buyers only.

Interior

The sporting theme continues inside the R with a host of features and design touches that make every journey an event. Supportive sports seats feature an embroidered ‘R’ logo on the headrests, while the leather-trimmed multi-function steering wheel incorporates a race and rally-style flat bottom design. And unlike Volkswagen’s multi-championship-winning Polo R rally car, the Golf R offers driver and passengers exceptional levels of comfort and convenience.

The seats are finished with ‘Race’ cloth upholstery seat centre sections with grey Alcantara side bolsters, while ‘Carbon-touch’ decorative inserts on the dash and door panels and ‘Gloss Black’ decorative inserts in the centre console add style and luxury.

The Golf R’s standard Composition Media system features a large 6.5 inch colour touch-screen. The integrated Bluetooth telephone and audio connection allows simultaneous pairing of two compatible mobile devices, while the MDI (Multi Device Interface) via USB connection, SD card reader and single CD player allows music playback from MP3, WMA and AAC files through eight speakers. Finally, the ‘R’ gear lever knob, ‘R’ instrument cluster with blue needles and ‘R’ design key reinforce the fact that this is no ordinary Golf.

Yet despite its sporting nature, the R retains the famed practicality and ergonomic brilliance that defines the rest of the seventh-generation Golf range.

All Golf R models feature a 60:40 split rear seat while a boot capacity of 343 litres (extendable to 1,233 litres with the seats folded) makes the R one of the most practical performance cars in the sector. 

TECHNOLOGY

Golf R technical highlights and features

XDSPlus

This is a development of the standard XDS system and works in all unbraked driving states. The system improves the vehicle’s agility, reducing the need for steering angle inputs through targeted braking of the inside wheels on both axles through corners. XDSPlus works on all types of road surface, even snow.

ESC Sport

Fitted as standard to the Golf R the ‘ESC Sport’ function is activated by a two-stage switch on the centre console.  If the driver pushes the button once briefly, it deactivates the ASR function (traction control).  When the button is held for longer than three seconds, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) switches to the ‘ESC Sport’ mode.  In very fast driving with lots of bends – such as on a circuit – the ESC system reacts with a delay, which enables even greater agile handling properties.  As an alternative to activation by the pushbutton on the centre console, ESC can also be activated or deactivated by settings in the Car menu within the infotainment system.

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System

Studies have found that around a quarter of all traffic accidents involving personal injury are multiple collision incidents, in other words, when there is a second impact after the initial collision.

The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System automatically brakes the vehicle when it is involved in an accident in order significantly to reduce its residual kinetic energy and hence prevent or minimise the severity of a subsequent collision. 

Triggering of the system is based on detection of a primary collision by the airbag sensors.  Vehicle braking is limited by the ESC control unit to a maximum deceleration rate of 0.6 g.  This value matches the deceleration level of Front Assist and ensures that the driver can take over handling of the car even in case of automatic braking.

The driver can ‘override’ the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System at any time; for example, if the system recognises that the driver is accelerating, it is disabled.  The system is also deactivated if the driver initiates hard braking at an even higher rate of deceleration.  Essentially, the system applies the brakes until a vehicle speed of 10 km/h is reached, so this residual vehicle speed can be used to steer to a safe location after the braking process.

Driver Alert system

It is estimated that a quarter of motorway accidents are caused by driver tiredness.  For this reason Volkswagen has introduced an innovative fatigue detection system, which is particularly valuable for company car drivers who may cover long distances without a scheduled break.  

The Golf’s Driver Alert system does not work in the same way as those from other manufacturers which monitor eye movements.  Instead, for the first 15 minutes of a journey the system analyses the driver’s characteristic steering and driving behaviour.  Further into the journey the system continually evaluates signals such as steering angle, use of pedals and transverse acceleration.  If the monitored parameters indicate a deviation from the initial behaviour recorded at the beginning of the trip, then waning concentration is assumed and warnings issued.

The system warns the driver with an acoustic signal lasting five seconds, while a visual message also appears in the instrument cluster recommending a break.  If the driver does not take a break within the next 15 minutes, the warning is repeated.  

This assistance system cannot detect so-called ‘microsleep’ but instead focuses on detecting early phases of lapses in concentration.  This means it is much less costly than an eye movement monitoring based system – and also still functions when the driver is wearing sunglasses or driving in the dark.

PreCrash preventive occupant protection

The Golf’s preventive occupant protection system is just one example of a technology that has been transferred from the premium to the compact class, having been implemented first in the Touareg. 

If the system detects a potential accident situation – such as by the initiation of hard braking via an activated brake assistant – the seatbelts of the driver and front passenger are automatically pre-tensioned to ensure the best possible protection by the airbag and belt system.  When a critical and ‘unstable’ driving situation is detected, for example through severe oversteer or understeer with ESC intervention, the side windows are closed (except for a small gap) and so is the sunroof.  This is because the head and side airbags offer optimal support and thereby achieve their best possible effectiveness when the windows and sunroof are almost fully closed.

Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist

Like the PreCrash system, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) has until now been the preserve of cars in higher segments. The system uses a radar sensor integrated into the front of the car to detect distance from the car in front, maintain a preselected speed and automatically brake or accelerate in traffic.

ACC operates over a speed range from 30 to 160 km/h (approx. 18 to 99 mph) with a manual gearbox and with DSG. In vehicles with DSG, ACC intervenes to such an extent that the car may be slowed to a standstill, depending on the situation. It may also automatically pull away in stop-and-go traffic. ACC maintains a preselected speed and a defined distance to the vehicle ahead, and it automatically brakes or accelerates in flowing traffic. The system dynamics can by individually varied by selecting one of the driving programmes from the driver profile selector.

Front Assist

Front Assist works like ACC with the radar sensor integrated into the front of the car, which continually monitors the distance to the traffic ahead. Even with ACC switched off, Front Assist helps assists the driver in critical situations by preconditioning the brake system and alerting the driver to any required reactions by means of visual and audible warnings. If the driver fails to brake hard enough, the system automatically generates sufficient braking force to help avoid a collision. Should the driver not react at all, Front Assist automatically slows the car so that under optimal conditions the speed of any impact is minimised. The system also assists the driver by an alert if the car is getting too close to the vehicle in front.  The City Emergency Braking function is also part of Front Assist.

City Emergency Braking

The City Emergency Braking function is a system extension of Front Assist and scans the area in front of the car via radar sensor. It operates at speeds below 30 km/h (approx. 18 mph). If the car is in danger of colliding with a vehicle driving or parked up ahead and the driver does not react, the brake system is preconditioned in the same way as with Front Assist. If the driver fails to intervene, City Emergency Braking then automatically initiates hard braking to reduce the severity of the impact. In addition, if the driver is initiating braking, but fails to press the brake pedal sufficiently, the system will assist with maximum braking power.

Lane Assist

The Golf R’s camera-based lane-keeping assistant with steering intervention detects lane markings and helps the driver to avoid critical lane changes or inadvertently leaving the lane. The camera sensor is activated from 40 mph and permanently scans lane markings to the right and left of the vehicle (both solid and dotted lines). If the car approaches a lane marking, Lane Assist warns the driver visually on the dashboard and via gentle steering vibration.

The system differentiates between intentional and unintended lane changes, for example, if the driver has activated the indicators; the driver can also override Lane Assist through a strong steering intervention, so essentially it detects gradual and unintended drifting.

High Beam Assist

High Beam Assist analyses traffic ahead and oncoming traffic – via a camera in the windscreen – and automatically controls activation and deactivation of the main beam (from 60 km/h, approx. 37 mph).

Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC)

The Golf R can be ordered with the second-generation Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC) as an option. DCC offers three driving modes: Comfort, Normal, and Sport, which are selected and displayed via the infotainment touchscreen as part of the Driving Profile Selector functionality. In Sport mode, the dampers are stiffened for more agile handling.

The DCC system adaptively controls the damper valves via a further developed and refined control algorithm. DCC takes input signals from wheel displacement sensors and accelerometers as well as vehicle information from the Chassis-CAN bus to compute these values and adaptively adjust the optimal damping force. Moreover, damping forces are selectively applied to the four wheels individually. With the new generation of DCC, it is now possible to independently vary rebound and compression damping while cornering.

Race mode

The Driving Mode Selection feature has three programs in the Golf R, and four in conjunction with DCC: Normal, Individual, and a Race mode that has been specially designed for the Golf R. In combination with DCC, Comfort mode is also available. All modes were specifically tuned for the Golf R. In Race mode, which is designed for high-speed track driving, damping is increased and engine response and the shift points of the DSG transmission are configured to be even sportier. In the Individual driving profile, the driver can combine mode settings for various individual parameters.

Anti-tramp function

The anti-tramp function recognises when the wheels may be about to lose traction with the road and intervenes to stop this happening. Under hard acceleration the wheels can bounce up from the road surface, temporarily losing grip with the road surface. This is called 'tramping' and it can lead to the ESP system cutting engine power and slowing the car down. The anti-tramp function ensures full traction, so speed is maintained.

Keyless entry and start (optional)

The Golf R is available with the option a Keyless entry and start system. When one of the door handles is touched, a signal is transmitted from an aerial integrated in the handle. The system then searches for a valid ID transmitter, from which it detects access authorisation. The antenna relays the code sent by the transmitter to the relevant control unit in the Golf. If the code is recognised, the system then unlocks the doors, deactivates the immobiliser (and the anti-theft alarm system where fitted), and allows the vehicle to be started at the push of a button. Other antennae check whether the ID transmitter is in the car. For example, to protect children, the Golf cannot be started if the ID transmitter is too far away from the vehicle. It is not possible, for example, to put the transmitter on the roof, get in the car and drive off.

If no door is opened within 30 seconds, the doors lock again as with a conventional system operated by remote control. From inside the vehicle, it is unlocked by pressing a button in the door handle.

Composition Media system

Standard on the Golf R model, the Composition Media system is equipped with a 6.5 inch colour touch-screen that displays the DAB digital radio information, Think Blue. Trainer. (driver tips and journey analysis), car information display, title and cover art display and, for compatible Android smartphones, SMS functionality that allows owners to read, compose and send SMS messages using the touch-screen display. The system’s Bluetooth telephone and audio connection allows simultaneous pairing of two compatible mobile devices, while the MDI (Multi Device Interface) via USB connection for compatible products, SD card reader and single CD player allows music playback from MP3, WMA and AAC files through eight speakers.

Discover Navigation system (optional)

The Discover Navigation touch-screen navigation/radio system builds on the Composition Media system, but with additional features enabling owners to easily manage their music, navigation data, and a broad range of vehicle information. The system offers preloaded European navigation data, branded points of interest, dynamic navigation based on TMC+, three route options (Fast, Short, Eco), Speed Limit Display, 2D/3D map view and 3-years Car-Net ‘Guide and Inform’ access providing online access to a range of useful

information such as traffic, fuel pricing, parking space availability, weather and news feeds. It is also equipped with a proximity sensor that recognises in advance the operator’s intention to touch the screen and automatically adjusts the display mode.

ENGINE

2.0-litre TSI, 1,984cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 300PS

At the heart of the Golf R is a newly developed version of the four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharged EA888 TSI petrol engine used in the latest Golf GTI. Thanks to an extensive reworking of the cylinder head, internal components and turbocharger, the latest evolution of this acclaimed engine now produces 300 300 PS from 5,500 to 6,200 rpm and 380 Nm (280 lbs ft) from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm. This makes it one of the most powerful four-cylinder production engines in the world. 

To attain this output, the Golf R’s engine was subjected to a motorsports-style development program. The cylinder head (together with exhaust valves, valve seats, and springs), pistons, high-pressure injection system, and turbocharger were all redesigned or replaced with higher specification items.

The engine also features a raft of innovative engineering solutions such as water-cooled exhaust gas channels running through the cylinder head to the turbocharger to help efficiently reduce full-load fuel consumption. Thanks to its new fully-electronic coolant control system, the Golf R engine has much more efficient thermal management with a reduced warm-up phase that reduces frictional losses and fuel consumption. In addition, the TSI engine has variable valve timing on the intake and exhaust sides, as well as two-stage exhaust-valve lift. This helps enable optimal control of the charge exchange process for better performance, fuel economy, and lower emissions.

Zero to 62 mph takes 5.1 seconds (versus 5.7 seconds for previous Golf R), or 4.9 seconds with optional DSG gearbox. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.  Despite this increased performance, a combined fuel consumption of 39.8 mpg (40.9 mpg DSG), and CO2 emissions of 165 g/km (159 g/km DSG) make the Golf R up to 18 per cent more efficient than its predecessor.

The R is fitted with Volkswagen’s acclaimed 4MOTION four-wheel drive system as standard.  Under low loads or when coasting, the rear axle is decoupled, helping to reduce fuel consumption.  Drive to the rear axle can be engaged in fractions of a second via the Haldex coupling, which is actuated by an electro-hydraulic pump.  Almost 100 per cent of power can be transferred to the rear axle.

4MOTION

Like all its predecessors, the fourth-generation Golf R is fitted with Volkswagen’s advanced 4MOTION four-wheel drive system as standard.

Featuring a fifth-generation Haldex coupling, the latest-generation 4MOTION system is activated before any wheelspin occurs, helping eliminate nearly all traction losses. The system achieves this by using an advanced control function based on specific driving conditions. When operating under a relatively low load or when coasting, the front wheels are driven and the rear wheels are decoupled, helping to save fuel. However, the rear wheels can be engaged in fractions of a second whenever necessary via the Haldex coupling, which is activated by an electro-hydraulic oil pump.

A control unit continually calculates the ideal drive torque for the rear wheels and controls how much the multi-plate clutch should be closed by activating the oil pump. The oil pressure increases the contact pressure at the clutch plates in proportion to the torque desired at the rear axle. So, the amount of pressure applied to the clutch plates can be used to continuously vary the amount of torque going between the front and rear wheels If necessary, nearly 100 per cent of the drive torque can be directed to the rear axle.

In addition to the Haldex coupling that acts longitudinally, four electronic differential locks (EDS) that are a function of the electronic stability control system act laterally. The system briefly brakes a wheel that is slipping, enabling uninterrupted and stable transfer of drive power to the wheel on the opposite side.

DSG transmission

Available as an option, the Golf R’s DSG gearbox combines the comfort and convenience of an automatic gearbox with the responsiveness and economy of a manual unit.  The six-speed DSG unit has two wet clutches with hydraulic pressure regulation. One clutch controls the ‘odd’ gears plus reverse, while the other operates the ‘even’ gears. Theoretically, it is two gearboxes in one.

With this clutch management system, the interruptions in power that are typical of an automatic-shift gearbox no longer occur. This is achieved by an intelligent hydraulic and electronic (mechatronic) gearbox control system, the two wet-type clutches and the two input and output shafts in each half of the gearbox.

This combination enables the next-higher gear ratio to remain engaged but on standby until it is actually selected. In other words, if the car is being driven in third gear, fourth is selected but not yet activated. As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, the other clutch closes and fourth gear engages under accurate electronic supervision. Since the opening and closing actions of the two clutches overlap, a smooth gearshift results and the entire shift process is completed in less than four-hundredths of a second. In addition to its fully automatic shift mode, DSG has a Tiptronic function to permit manual gear selection.  This can be operated via the gear lever or via paddles on the Golf R’s steering wheel.

RUNNING GEAR

Chassis and suspension

The Golf R achieves the perfect balance of sportiness and comfort thanks to a unique suspension set-up. To reduce body roll and lower the car’s centre of gravity, the ride height is 20mm lower than than the standard Golf and 5mm lower than the GTI.

At the front, the R retains the MacPherson strut architecture of the GTI, but features a bespoke lower control arm and dampers specifically tuned to deliver a sporty yet compliant ride quality. The rear suspension layout utilises a multi-link set-up with revised toe-link bearings for even greater stability under load.

The Golf R is equipped with progressive electric power-assisted steering that goes from lock to lock in just 2.1 turns. For reference, the standard Golf has a steering system that goes from lock to lock in 2.75 turns. The steering operates with a progressive gear ratio, perceptibly reducing steering effort at very low speeds and while parking. On country roads with lots of bends, the experience is enhanced because the steering is more direct.

Technically, progressive steering differs from the basic steering system primarily by the rack’s variable tooth spacing and a more powerful electric motor.

The Golf R features the same high performance braking system developed for the GTI Performance model. At the front, the car has 340mm diameter vented discs that are 30mm thick, while the rear rotors are 310mm by 22mm. The black brake calipers have the R logo on them. Up front, the single pistons per side are 60mm in diameter and are 43mm at the back.

Hydraulic Brake Assist

Working in conjunction with the other elements of the braking system, the latest form of HBA recognises from the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed whether it is a ‘normal’ braking situation or an emergency stop.  In the event of an emergency stop, HBA automatically increases braking pressure, activating ABS and ensuring the level of braking meets the needs of the conditions.  The application of brake assist makes it possible even for unskilled drivers to reduce braking distances by around 25 per cent.

Electronic parking brake with auto hold function

The Golf R features an electronic parking brake that also incorporates a standard auto hold function.  This is activated via a button near the gear lever and is useful when the car is regularly stopping for short periods, for example when driving in heavy traffic. In this case, the parking brake is applied automatically whenever the vehicle is brought to rest on the footbrake, preventing it from rolling forwards or backwards. The brake is then released as soon as the accelerator is pressed.

EQUIPMENT AND TRIM

As befits Volkswagen’s most powerful production Golf, the R is generously equipped and features the following as standard:

WHEELS AND SUSPENSION

  • Alloy wheels, four 71/2J x 18" ‘Cadiz’ with 225/40 R18 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts
  • ‘R’ sports suspension, lowered by approx. 15mm

EXTERIOR

  • Bi-xenon headlights for dipped and main beam with static cornering function, automatic range adjustment and unique double ‘U-shaped’ LED daytime running lights
  • ‘Black’ brake callipers
  • Matt-chrome effect door mirrors
  • ‘R’ styling pack – uniquely shaped front and rear bumpers and side sills
  • Rear diffuser in ‘Black’ with twin oval chrome exhaust tailpipes, left and right
  • Unique ‘R’ badging
  • Unique ‘R’ radiator grille with matt-chrome strip

INTERIOR

  • ‘Carbon-touch’ decorative inserts in dash and door panels
  • ‘Gloss Black’ decorative inserts in centre console
  • Leather trimmed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with ‘R’ logo and gear knob gaiter
  • Stainless steel pedals – clutch, brake and accelerator
  • Seating – Upholstery – ‘Race’ cloth seat centre section and grey Alcantara side bolsters
  • Front sports seats with embroidered ‘R’ logo
  • Unique ‘R’ gear lever knob
  • Unique ‘R’ instrument cluster

COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE

  • Blue ambient lighting
  • Climate control – 2Zone electronic air conditioning with automatic air recirculation

DRIVER’S ASSISTANCE

  • Four wheel drive – 4MOTION
  • Multifunction colour display
  • Progressive steering

SAFETY AND SECURITY

  • Anti-tramp function
  • XDSPlus electronic differential lock for improved traction and handling
  •  Unique ‘R’ design key

IN-CAR ENTERTAINMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Composition Media system
    – 6.5" colour touch-screen
    – Bluetooth telephone and audio connection for compatible devices
    – Car information display
    – DAB digital radio receiver
    – MDI (Multi Device Interface), via USB connection – compatible products only
    – Music playback from MP3, WMA and AAC files
    – SD card reader
    – Single CD player
    – Simultaneous pairing of two compatible mobile devices
    – SMS functionality – read, compose and send SMS messages using touch-screen display (when stationary,      compatible Android smartphones only
     – Title and cover art display
    – Think Blue. Trainer. – driver tips and journey analysis
    – 4 x 20 watt output – 8 speakers, front and rear

INSURANCE GROUP AND WARRANTY

Insurance groups

Thanks to its impressive security and safety features, the Golf R has secured the following insurance group ratings from the ABI (Association of British Insurers):

R
2.0-litre TSI 300 PS                 34E

WARRANTIES

The Golf R has a three year (first and second year manufacturer operated, third year retailer operated) mechanical warranty. In addition, it comes with a class-leading 12 year anti-perforation guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance. The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

The Volkswagen Golf R

Inspired by the technology, performance and excitement of motorsport, the Golf R is the most powerful and fastest production Golf ever built by Volkswagen. Launched in the UK in March 2014, the flagship R has won acclaim for its breathtaking performance, surefooted composure and dynamic handling.

Available in three and five door hatchback and Estate forms, the Golf R has raised the benchmark for performance Golf models and perfectly showcases Volkswagen’s design and engineering knowledge and skills.

At the heart of the Golf R is a special version of the four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharged EA888 TSI petrol engine used in the Golf GTI. Thanks to a modified cylinder head, exhaust valves, valve seats and springs, pistons, injection valves and turbocharger, the version fitted to the Golf R produces 300 PS from 5,500 to 6,200 rpm and 380 Nm (280 lbs ft) from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm. Zero to 62 mph takes 5.1 seconds (versus 5.7 seconds for previous Golf R), or 4.9 seconds with optional DSG gearbox. The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. Despite this increased performance, a combined fuel consumption of 39.8 mpg (40.9 mpg DSG), and CO2 emissions of 165 g/km (159 g/km DSG) make the Golf R up to 18 per cent more efficient than its predecessor.

To help drivers fully exploit the engine’s performance, the Golf R uses a fifth-generation Haldex 4MOTION four-wheel drive system. Under low loads or when coasting, the rear axle is decoupled, helping to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Drive to the rear axle can be engaged in fractions of a second via the Haldex coupling, which is actuated by an electro-hydraulic pump. Almost 100 per cent of power can be transferred to the rear axle if required.

The ride height is 20 mm lower than the standard Golf’s (5 mm lower than the GTI’s), while Volkswagen’s acclaimed Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC) system is available as an option. The DCC system offers a ‘Race’ mode, that increases damping, thereby reducing body movements.  In conjunction with the driver profile selector (standard on all Golfs from SE), Race mode also attenuates throttle response, and alters the shift pattern of the DSG gearbox (where fitted).

On top of ESC Sport mode, as found on the GTI and GTD, which delays intervention of the electronic stability control system, the R offers the option fully to disengage the ESC, for track driving. And, like the Golf GTI and GTD, the Golf R is equipped with progressive steering, which reduces the number of turns lock to lock to just 2.1, from 2.75.

Visually, the R is distinguished by its striking front bumper design, with large air inlets, modified radiator grille with ‘R’ logo and daytime running lights that are integrated into the standard bi-xenon headlights. At the side, there are bespoke body-colour sills, and matt chrome-capped door mirrors. The rear of the Golf R features a distinctive diffuser at the lower edge of the bumper, along with discreet R badging and four chrome tailpipes.

The standard wheels are 18-inch ‘Cadiz’ alloys with 225/40 tyres, while 19-inch ‘Pretoria’ alloys are optional. The brakes are ventilated discs all round, and measure 30 mm by 340 mm at the front and 22 mm by 310 mm at the rear.

Like all Golf Mk VIIs, the Golf R is lighter than its predecessor, with a kerbweight of 1,476 kg / 1,495 kg for DSG, which is 45 kg / 46 kg less than the Mk VI, and just 94 kg / 93 kg more than the GTI with Performance Pack. 

The interior features cloth sports seats with Alcantara bolsters, with leather upholstery available as an option, while the instrument dials are bespoke for the R, and include typical touches such as blue needles on the instrument display.

As befits a model at the top of the Golf range, the R is exceptionally well equipped and features a touchscreen Composition Media system with smartphone integration and DAB, bi-xenon headlights and a leather-trimmed multi-function steering wheel as standard.

Summary

  • The Golf R is the most powerful and fastest production Golf ever built by Volkswagen. It was launched in the UK in 2014
  • Powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that produces 300 PS from 5,500 to 6,200 rpm and 380 Nm (280 lbs ft) from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm
  • Zero to 62 mph takes 5.1 seconds (versus 5.7 seconds for previous Golf R), or 4.9 seconds with optional DSG gearbox. The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph
  • Despite its exceptional performance, the Golf R is capable of returning 39.8 mpg (40.9 mpg DSG) on the combined cycle and has, and CO2 emissions of 165 g/km (159 g/km DSG)
  • Optional Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) system offers a ‘Race’ mode, that increases damping, thereby reducing body movements
  • Golf R uses a fifth-generation Haldex 4MOTION four-wheel drive system. Under low loads or when coasting, the rear axle is decoupled, helping to reduce fuel consumption and emissions
  • Drive to the rear axle can be engaged in fractions of a second via the Haldex coupling, which is actuated by an electro-hydraulic pump. Almost 100 per cent of power can be transferred to the rear axle if required.
  • The Golf R is lighter than its predecessor, with a kerbweight of 1,476 kg / 1,495 kg for DSG, which is 45 kg / 46 kg less than the Mk VI
  • Bespoke Golf R styling package includes deeper bumpers, side sill and 18-inch ‘Cadiz’ alloy wheels as standard
  • Interior features sports seats, Alcantara trim and a host of design features reserved for the R model
  • Composition Media touchscreen system fitted as standard offers smartphone integration and DAB
  • Unique suspension system includes modified control arms at the front and revised toe link bushes at the rear. Ride height is lowered by 20mm over standard Golf
  • The brakes are ventilated discs all round, and measure 30 mm by 340 mm at the front and 22 mm by 310 mm at the rear.
  • Driver assistance and safety systems include Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, XDS+ and ESC Sport as standard

Dimensions

Exterior dimensions (mm)

Length                                                                                         4,276
Width – excl. door mirrors – 3-door/5-door                          1,799
Height                                                                                         1,436
Height – opened tailgate/floor                                               1,990
Wheelbase                                                                                 2,630
Turning circle                                                                            10.9m

Interior dimensions

Effective headroom – front (with sunroof)                            1,018 (999)
Effective headroom – rear (with sunroof)                             967 (967)
Interior width, front – 3-door/5-door                                       1,469
Interior width, rear – 3-door/5-door                                       1,440

Maximum luggage capacity (litres VDA method)

With rear seats upright                                                            343
With rear seats folded                                                             1,233

DESIGN

Exterior

Striking from every angle, the Golf R cleverly combines bold, new features with trademark design touches inspired by the brand’s performance car heritage.  The Golf R can be distinguished from the front by a new bumper design with exceptionally large air inlets, modified radiator grille (complete with "R" logo) and newly developed daytime running lights that are integrated into the housings of the bi-xenon headlights. The LED daytime running lights form a distinctive dual "U" design beneath the dual headlights giving the R a unique look and night-time light signature.

At the side, the Golf R’s distinctive profile is enhanced by lowered suspension, muscular front and rear bumpers and bold 18-inch ‘Cadiz’ alloy wheels that fill the wheel arches. Extended side sills, matt chrome door mirrors and black painted brake callipers further enhance the sporting feel, while the rear end features four chrome exhaust pipes and a motorsport-inspired diffuser at the lower edge of the bumper.

For a real touch of exclusivity, ‘Lapiz Blue’ metallic signature paint is reserved for Golf R buyers only.

Interior

The sporting theme continues inside the R with a host of features and design touches that make every journey an event. Supportive sports seats feature an embroidered ‘R’ logo on the headrests, while the leather-trimmed multi-function steering wheel incorporates a race and rally-style flat bottom design. And unlike Volkswagen’s multi-championship-winning Polo R rally car, the Golf R offers driver and passengers exceptional levels of comfort and convenience.

The seats are finished with ‘Race’ cloth upholstery seat centre sections with grey Alcantara side bolsters, while ‘Carbon-touch’ decorative inserts on the dash and door panels and ‘Gloss Black’ decorative inserts in the centre console add style and luxury.

The Golf R’s standard Composition Media system features a large 6.5 inch colour touch-screen. The integrated Bluetooth telephone and audio connection allows simultaneous pairing of two compatible mobile devices, while the MDI (Multi Device Interface) via USB connection, SD card reader and single CD player allows music playback from MP3, WMA and AAC files through eight speakers. Finally, the ‘R’ gear lever knob, ‘R’ instrument cluster with blue needles and ‘R’ design key reinforce the fact that this is no ordinary Golf.

Yet despite its sporting nature, the R retains the famed practicality and ergonomic brilliance that defines the rest of the seventh-generation Golf range.

All Golf R models feature a 60:40 split rear seat while a boot capacity of 343 litres (extendable to 1,233 litres with the seats folded) makes the R one of the most practical performance cars in the sector. 

TECHNOLOGY

Golf R technical highlights and features

XDSPlus

This is a development of the standard XDS system and works in all unbraked driving states. The system improves the vehicle’s agility, reducing the need for steering angle inputs through targeted braking of the inside wheels on both axles through corners. XDSPlus works on all types of road surface, even snow.

ESC Sport

Fitted as standard to the Golf R the ‘ESC Sport’ function is activated by a two-stage switch on the centre console.  If the driver pushes the button once briefly, it deactivates the ASR function (traction control).  When the button is held for longer than three seconds, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) switches to the ‘ESC Sport’ mode.  In very fast driving with lots of bends – such as on a circuit – the ESC system reacts with a delay, which enables even greater agile handling properties.  As an alternative to activation by the pushbutton on the centre console, ESC can also be activated or deactivated by settings in the Car menu within the infotainment system.

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System

Studies have found that around a quarter of all traffic accidents involving personal injury are multiple collision incidents, in other words, when there is a second impact after the initial collision.

The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System automatically brakes the vehicle when it is involved in an accident in order significantly to reduce its residual kinetic energy and hence prevent or minimise the severity of a subsequent collision. 

Triggering of the system is based on detection of a primary collision by the airbag sensors.  Vehicle braking is limited by the ESC control unit to a maximum deceleration rate of 0.6 g.  This value matches the deceleration level of Front Assist and ensures that the driver can take over handling of the car even in case of automatic braking.

The driver can ‘override’ the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System at any time; for example, if the system recognises that the driver is accelerating, it is disabled.  The system is also deactivated if the driver initiates hard braking at an even higher rate of deceleration.  Essentially, the system applies the brakes until a vehicle speed of 10 km/h is reached, so this residual vehicle speed can be used to steer to a safe location after the braking process.

Driver Alert system

It is estimated that a quarter of motorway accidents are caused by driver tiredness.  For this reason Volkswagen has introduced an innovative fatigue detection system, which is particularly valuable for company car drivers who may cover long distances without a scheduled break.  

The Golf’s Driver Alert system does not work in the same way as those from other manufacturers which monitor eye movements.  Instead, for the first 15 minutes of a journey the system analyses the driver’s characteristic steering and driving behaviour.  Further into the journey the system continually evaluates signals such as steering angle, use of pedals and transverse acceleration.  If the monitored parameters indicate a deviation from the initial behaviour recorded at the beginning of the trip, then waning concentration is assumed and warnings issued.

The system warns the driver with an acoustic signal lasting five seconds, while a visual message also appears in the instrument cluster recommending a break.  If the driver does not take a break within the next 15 minutes, the warning is repeated.  

This assistance system cannot detect so-called ‘microsleep’ but instead focuses on detecting early phases of lapses in concentration.  This means it is much less costly than an eye movement monitoring based system – and also still functions when the driver is wearing sunglasses or driving in the dark.

PreCrash preventive occupant protection

The Golf’s preventive occupant protection system is just one example of a technology that has been transferred from the premium to the compact class, having been implemented first in the Touareg. 

If the system detects a potential accident situation – such as by the initiation of hard braking via an activated brake assistant – the seatbelts of the driver and front passenger are automatically pre-tensioned to ensure the best possible protection by the airbag and belt system.  When a critical and ‘unstable’ driving situation is detected, for example through severe oversteer or understeer with ESC intervention, the side windows are closed (except for a small gap) and so is the sunroof.  This is because the head and side airbags offer optimal support and thereby achieve their best possible effectiveness when the windows and sunroof are almost fully closed.

Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist

Like the PreCrash system, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) has until now been the preserve of cars in higher segments. The system uses a radar sensor integrated into the front of the car to detect distance from the car in front, maintain a preselected speed and automatically brake or accelerate in traffic.

ACC operates over a speed range from 30 to 160 km/h (approx. 18 to 99 mph) with a manual gearbox and with DSG. In vehicles with DSG, ACC intervenes to such an extent that the car may be slowed to a standstill, depending on the situation. It may also automatically pull away in stop-and-go traffic. ACC maintains a preselected speed and a defined distance to the vehicle ahead, and it automatically brakes or accelerates in flowing traffic. The system dynamics can by individually varied by selecting one of the driving programmes from the driver profile selector.

Front Assist

Front Assist works like ACC with the radar sensor integrated into the front of the car, which continually monitors the distance to the traffic ahead. Even with ACC switched off, Front Assist helps assists the driver in critical situations by preconditioning the brake system and alerting the driver to any required reactions by means of visual and audible warnings. If the driver fails to brake hard enough, the system automatically generates sufficient braking force to help avoid a collision. Should the driver not react at all, Front Assist automatically slows the car so that under optimal conditions the speed of any impact is minimised. The system also assists the driver by an alert if the car is getting too close to the vehicle in front.  The City Emergency Braking function is also part of Front Assist.

City Emergency Braking

The City Emergency Braking function is a system extension of Front Assist and scans the area in front of the car via radar sensor. It operates at speeds below 30 km/h (approx. 18 mph). If the car is in danger of colliding with a vehicle driving or parked up ahead and the driver does not react, the brake system is preconditioned in the same way as with Front Assist. If the driver fails to intervene, City Emergency Braking then automatically initiates hard braking to reduce the severity of the impact. In addition, if the driver is initiating braking, but fails to press the brake pedal sufficiently, the system will assist with maximum braking power.

Lane Assist

The Golf R’s camera-based lane-keeping assistant with steering intervention detects lane markings and helps the driver to avoid critical lane changes or inadvertently leaving the lane. The camera sensor is activated from 40 mph and permanently scans lane markings to the right and left of the vehicle (both solid and dotted lines). If the car approaches a lane marking, Lane Assist warns the driver visually on the dashboard and via gentle steering vibration.

The system differentiates between intentional and unintended lane changes, for example, if the driver has activated the indicators; the driver can also override Lane Assist through a strong steering intervention, so essentially it detects gradual and unintended drifting.

High Beam Assist

High Beam Assist analyses traffic ahead and oncoming traffic – via a camera in the windscreen – and automatically controls activation and deactivation of the main beam (from 60 km/h, approx. 37 mph).

Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC)

The Golf R can be ordered with the second-generation Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC) as an option. DCC offers three driving modes: Comfort, Normal, and Sport, which are selected and displayed via the infotainment touchscreen as part of the Driving Profile Selector functionality. In Sport mode, the dampers are stiffened for more agile handling.

The DCC system adaptively controls the damper valves via a further developed and refined control algorithm. DCC takes input signals from wheel displacement sensors and accelerometers as well as vehicle information from the Chassis-CAN bus to compute these values and adaptively adjust the optimal damping force. Moreover, damping forces are selectively applied to the four wheels individually. With the new generation of DCC, it is now possible to independently vary rebound and compression damping while cornering.

Race mode

The Driving Mode Selection feature has three programs in the Golf R, and four in conjunction with DCC: Normal, Individual, and a Race mode that has been specially designed for the Golf R. In combination with DCC, Comfort mode is also available. All modes were specifically tuned for the Golf R. In Race mode, which is designed for high-speed track driving, damping is increased and engine response and the shift points of the DSG transmission are configured to be even sportier. In the Individual driving profile, the driver can combine mode settings for various individual parameters.

Anti-tramp function

The anti-tramp function recognises when the wheels may be about to lose traction with the road and intervenes to stop this happening. Under hard acceleration the wheels can bounce up from the road surface, temporarily losing grip with the road surface. This is called 'tramping' and it can lead to the ESP system cutting engine power and slowing the car down. The anti-tramp function ensures full traction, so speed is maintained.

Keyless entry and start (optional)

The Golf R is available with the option a Keyless entry and start system. When one of the door handles is touched, a signal is transmitted from an aerial integrated in the handle. The system then searches for a valid ID transmitter, from which it detects access authorisation. The antenna relays the code sent by the transmitter to the relevant control unit in the Golf. If the code is recognised, the system then unlocks the doors, deactivates the immobiliser (and the anti-theft alarm system where fitted), and allows the vehicle to be started at the push of a button. Other antennae check whether the ID transmitter is in the car. For example, to protect children, the Golf cannot be started if the ID transmitter is too far away from the vehicle. It is not possible, for example, to put the transmitter on the roof, get in the car and drive off.

If no door is opened within 30 seconds, the doors lock again as with a conventional system operated by remote control. From inside the vehicle, it is unlocked by pressing a button in the door handle.

Composition Media system

Standard on the Golf R model, the Composition Media system is equipped with a 6.5 inch colour touch-screen that displays the DAB digital radio information, Think Blue. Trainer. (driver tips and journey analysis), car information display, title and cover art display and, for compatible Android smartphones, SMS functionality that allows owners to read, compose and send SMS messages using the touch-screen display. The system’s Bluetooth telephone and audio connection allows simultaneous pairing of two compatible mobile devices, while the MDI (Multi Device Interface) via USB connection for compatible products, SD card reader and single CD player allows music playback from MP3, WMA and AAC files through eight speakers.

Discover Navigation system (optional)

The Discover Navigation touch-screen navigation/radio system builds on the Composition Media system, but with additional features enabling owners to easily manage their music, navigation data, and a broad range of vehicle information. The system offers preloaded European navigation data, branded points of interest, dynamic navigation based on TMC+, three route options (Fast, Short, Eco), Speed Limit Display, 2D/3D map view and 3-years Car-Net ‘Guide and Inform’ access providing online access to a range of useful

information such as traffic, fuel pricing, parking space availability, weather and news feeds. It is also equipped with a proximity sensor that recognises in advance the operator’s intention to touch the screen and automatically adjusts the display mode.

ENGINE

2.0-litre TSI, 1,984cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 300PS

At the heart of the Golf R is a newly developed version of the four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharged EA888 TSI petrol engine used in the latest Golf GTI. Thanks to an extensive reworking of the cylinder head, internal components and turbocharger, the latest evolution of this acclaimed engine now produces 300 300 PS from 5,500 to 6,200 rpm and 380 Nm (280 lbs ft) from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm. This makes it one of the most powerful four-cylinder production engines in the world. 

To attain this output, the Golf R’s engine was subjected to a motorsports-style development program. The cylinder head (together with exhaust valves, valve seats, and springs), pistons, high-pressure injection system, and turbocharger were all redesigned or replaced with higher specification items.

The engine also features a raft of innovative engineering solutions such as water-cooled exhaust gas channels running through the cylinder head to the turbocharger to help efficiently reduce full-load fuel consumption. Thanks to its new fully-electronic coolant control system, the Golf R engine has much more efficient thermal management with a reduced warm-up phase that reduces frictional losses and fuel consumption. In addition, the TSI engine has variable valve timing on the intake and exhaust sides, as well as two-stage exhaust-valve lift. This helps enable optimal control of the charge exchange process for better performance, fuel economy, and lower emissions.

Zero to 62 mph takes 5.1 seconds (versus 5.7 seconds for previous Golf R), or 4.9 seconds with optional DSG gearbox. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.  Despite this increased performance, a combined fuel consumption of 39.8 mpg (40.9 mpg DSG), and CO2 emissions of 165 g/km (159 g/km DSG) make the Golf R up to 18 per cent more efficient than its predecessor.

The R is fitted with Volkswagen’s acclaimed 4MOTION four-wheel drive system as standard.  Under low loads or when coasting, the rear axle is decoupled, helping to reduce fuel consumption.  Drive to the rear axle can be engaged in fractions of a second via the Haldex coupling, which is actuated by an electro-hydraulic pump.  Almost 100 per cent of power can be transferred to the rear axle.

4MOTION

Like all its predecessors, the fourth-generation Golf R is fitted with Volkswagen’s advanced 4MOTION four-wheel drive system as standard.

Featuring a fifth-generation Haldex coupling, the latest-generation 4MOTION system is activated before any wheelspin occurs, helping eliminate nearly all traction losses. The system achieves this by using an advanced control function based on specific driving conditions. When operating under a relatively low load or when coasting, the front wheels are driven and the rear wheels are decoupled, helping to save fuel. However, the rear wheels can be engaged in fractions of a second whenever necessary via the Haldex coupling, which is activated by an electro-hydraulic oil pump.

A control unit continually calculates the ideal drive torque for the rear wheels and controls how much the multi-plate clutch should be closed by activating the oil pump. The oil pressure increases the contact pressure at the clutch plates in proportion to the torque desired at the rear axle. So, the amount of pressure applied to the clutch plates can be used to continuously vary the amount of torque going between the front and rear wheels If necessary, nearly 100 per cent of the drive torque can be directed to the rear axle.

In addition to the Haldex coupling that acts longitudinally, four electronic differential locks (EDS) that are a function of the electronic stability control system act laterally. The system briefly brakes a wheel that is slipping, enabling uninterrupted and stable transfer of drive power to the wheel on the opposite side.

DSG transmission

Available as an option, the Golf R’s DSG gearbox combines the comfort and convenience of an automatic gearbox with the responsiveness and economy of a manual unit.  The six-speed DSG unit has two wet clutches with hydraulic pressure regulation. One clutch controls the ‘odd’ gears plus reverse, while the other operates the ‘even’ gears. Theoretically, it is two gearboxes in one.

With this clutch management system, the interruptions in power that are typical of an automatic-shift gearbox no longer occur. This is achieved by an intelligent hydraulic and electronic (mechatronic) gearbox control system, the two wet-type clutches and the two input and output shafts in each half of the gearbox.

This combination enables the next-higher gear ratio to remain engaged but on standby until it is actually selected. In other words, if the car is being driven in third gear, fourth is selected but not yet activated. As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, the other clutch closes and fourth gear engages under accurate electronic supervision. Since the opening and closing actions of the two clutches overlap, a smooth gearshift results and the entire shift process is completed in less than four-hundredths of a second. In addition to its fully automatic shift mode, DSG has a Tiptronic function to permit manual gear selection.  This can be operated via the gear lever or via paddles on the Golf R’s steering wheel.

RUNNING GEAR

Chassis and suspension

The Golf R achieves the perfect balance of sportiness and comfort thanks to a unique suspension set-up. To reduce body roll and lower the car’s centre of gravity, the ride height is 20mm lower than than the standard Golf and 5mm lower than the GTI.

At the front, the R retains the MacPherson strut architecture of the GTI, but features a bespoke lower control arm and dampers specifically tuned to deliver a sporty yet compliant ride quality. The rear suspension layout utilises a multi-link set-up with revised toe-link bearings for even greater stability under load.

The Golf R is equipped with progressive electric power-assisted steering that goes from lock to lock in just 2.1 turns. For reference, the standard Golf has a steering system that goes from lock to lock in 2.75 turns. The steering operates with a progressive gear ratio, perceptibly reducing steering effort at very low speeds and while parking. On country roads with lots of bends, the experience is enhanced because the steering is more direct.

Technically, progressive steering differs from the basic steering system primarily by the rack’s variable tooth spacing and a more powerful electric motor.

The Golf R features the same high performance braking system developed for the GTI Performance model. At the front, the car has 340mm diameter vented discs that are 30mm thick, while the rear rotors are 310mm by 22mm. The black brake calipers have the R logo on them. Up front, the single pistons per side are 60mm in diameter and are 43mm at the back.

Hydraulic Brake Assist

Working in conjunction with the other elements of the braking system, the latest form of HBA recognises from the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed whether it is a ‘normal’ braking situation or an emergency stop.  In the event of an emergency stop, HBA automatically increases braking pressure, activating ABS and ensuring the level of braking meets the needs of the conditions.  The application of brake assist makes it possible even for unskilled drivers to reduce braking distances by around 25 per cent.

Electronic parking brake with auto hold function

The Golf R features an electronic parking brake that also incorporates a standard auto hold function.  This is activated via a button near the gear lever and is useful when the car is regularly stopping for short periods, for example when driving in heavy traffic. In this case, the parking brake is applied automatically whenever the vehicle is brought to rest on the footbrake, preventing it from rolling forwards or backwards. The brake is then released as soon as the accelerator is pressed.

EQUIPMENT AND TRIM

As befits Volkswagen’s most powerful production Golf, the R is generously equipped and features the following as standard:

WHEELS AND SUSPENSION

  • Alloy wheels, four 71/2J x 18" ‘Cadiz’ with 225/40 R18 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts
  • ‘R’ sports suspension, lowered by approx. 15mm

EXTERIOR

  • Bi-xenon headlights for dipped and main beam with static cornering function, automatic range adjustment and unique double ‘U-shaped’ LED daytime running lights
  • ‘Black’ brake callipers
  • Matt-chrome effect door mirrors
  • ‘R’ styling pack – uniquely shaped front and rear bumpers and side sills
  • Rear diffuser in ‘Black’ with twin oval chrome exhaust tailpipes, left and right
  • Unique ‘R’ badging
  • Unique ‘R’ radiator grille with matt-chrome strip

INTERIOR

  • ‘Carbon-touch’ decorative inserts in dash and door panels
  • ‘Gloss Black’ decorative inserts in centre console
  • Leather trimmed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with ‘R’ logo and gear knob gaiter
  • Stainless steel pedals – clutch, brake and accelerator
  • Seating – Upholstery – ‘Race’ cloth seat centre section and grey Alcantara side bolsters
  • Front sports seats with embroidered ‘R’ logo
  • Unique ‘R’ gear lever knob
  • Unique ‘R’ instrument cluster

COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE

  • Blue ambient lighting
  • Climate control – 2Zone electronic air conditioning with automatic air recirculation

DRIVER’S ASSISTANCE

  • Four wheel drive – 4MOTION
  • Multifunction colour display
  • Progressive steering

SAFETY AND SECURITY

  • Anti-tramp function
  • XDSPlus electronic differential lock for improved traction and handling
  •  Unique ‘R’ design key

IN-CAR ENTERTAINMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Composition Media system
    – 6.5" colour touch-screen
    – Bluetooth telephone and audio connection for compatible devices
    – Car information display
    – DAB digital radio receiver
    – MDI (Multi Device Interface), via USB connection – compatible products only
    – Music playback from MP3, WMA and AAC files
    – SD card reader
    – Single CD player
    – Simultaneous pairing of two compatible mobile devices
    – SMS functionality – read, compose and send SMS messages using touch-screen display (when stationary,      compatible Android smartphones only
     – Title and cover art display
    – Think Blue. Trainer. – driver tips and journey analysis
    – 4 x 20 watt output – 8 speakers, front and rear

INSURANCE GROUP AND WARRANTY

Insurance groups

Thanks to its impressive security and safety features, the Golf R has secured the following insurance group ratings from the ABI (Association of British Insurers):

R
2.0-litre TSI 300 PS                 34E

WARRANTIES

The Golf R has a three year (first and second year manufacturer operated, third year retailer operated) mechanical warranty. In addition, it comes with a class-leading 12 year anti-perforation guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance. The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

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