Golf Mk VI R

The new Golf R is the most powerful and fastest accelerating Golf ever produced.  Developed by Volkswagen R, formerly known as Individual, the special projects wing of Volkswagen, and following on from the Mk IV and Mk V Golf R32 models, the Golf R is equipped with a 2.0-litre TSI four cylinder engine developing 270 PS and a new four-wheel drive system.

The very first ‘R’ product, the Golf R32, was launched in 2002.  Based on the Mk IV Golf, the R32 was intended as a low volume, keenly focussed performance variant of the Golf aimed at enthusiasts.  Designed and developed by R, and built on a bespoke production line, the R models featured significant mechanical and aesthetic modifications to allow the R model its own distinct character and help separate it from both the standard car and the GTI.

This trend continued in 2009 with the introduction of the new Golf R at the Frankfurt Motor Show.  The latest model features the greatest number of modifications yet made to an R product over the model on which it’s based.  Its engine, four-wheel drive system, springs, dampers, anti-roll bars and braking system, the traction control, exhaust system, body styling including new bumpers, front and rear lights, sill extensions, wheels and mirrors all differ from any other Golf variant.  The result is not only the fastest Golf R product yet produced but also the most efficient.

This is, in part, down to the new engine which is 35 kg lighter and 20 PS more powerful than the 3.2-litre V6 found in the outgoing Golf R32; it’s also more efficient.  Economy rises from a combined 26.4 mpg to 33.2 mpg while CO2 emissions fall from 255 g/km to 199 g/km.  Despite the gains in efficiency the Golf R is faster and sharper than ever – the new car can accelerate from rest to 62 mph in just 5.7 seconds.  Equipped with a six-speed DSG gearbox, this figure falls to 5.5 seconds while top speed is limited to 155 mph.

The new Golf R opened for ordering in October 2009 with first deliveries taking place in February 2010.    

SUMMARY

  • New Golf R world debut at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show
  • The most powerful and fastest accelerating Golf ever produced
  • Despite being faster and more powerful than the Golf R32 it replaces, the Golf R is also significantly more economical and emits less CO2
  • Developed by Volkswagen R, formerly Individual, the special projects wing of Volkswagen, and following on from the Mk IV and Mk V Golf R32 models the new Golf R is equipped with a new 2.0-litre TSI four-cylinder engine developing 270 PS channelled through all four wheels
  • Golf R is faster and sharper than ever – the new car can accelerate from rest to 62 mph in just 5.7 seconds 
  • Equipped with a six-speed DSG gearbox, this figure falls to 5.5 seconds while the top speed is limited to 155 mph
  • Powered by the 1,984 cc, four-cylinder EA113 engine (as opposed to the EA888 fitted to the current Golf GTI) derived from the Mk V Golf GTI 
  • To extract the extra power the block has been reinforced with an entirely new alloy head, uprated pistons, conrods and high pressure injectors.  An uprated turbocharger generating 1.2 bar of boost is joined by a new intercooler to cope with the extra heat generated
  • 270 PS developed at 6,000 rpm and 236 lbs ft of torque at 2,500 rpm
  • New 345 mm diameter front brake discs (rear: 310 mm) and callipers are joined by uprated suspension that’s been lowered by 25 mm with revised spring and damper rates and new anti-roll bars
  • Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) has also been revised for the Golf R
  • Electro-mechanical power steering has been sharpened to allow the Golf R quicker responses
  • New four-wheel drive system now reacts faster and controls wheelspin more effectively with control over torque loadings between the axles
  • Up to 100 per cent of the available torque can be directed to the rear axle if required
  • New front and rear bumpers complete with LED running lights at the front and a gloss black diffuser at the rear housing a pair of central exit exhausts set the Golf R apart from the GTI.  A set of xenon headlights and a new black grille and wing mirrors extend back to a set of sill extensions framed by 18-inch five-spoke wheels complete with 225/40 tyres as standard – 19-inch items with 235/35 tyres can be specified as an option
  • At the back, unique rear light units lend the Golf R an aggressive look – the high-intensity LED bulbs hidden behind smoked lenses
  • Inside, new seats finished in grey Alcantara are contrasted against high-grip black mesh cloth.  Gloss black highlights throughout the interior are complemented by the subtle, electric blue needles in the revised instrument cluster

Market information
The Golf R sits at the top of the Golf range, above the GTI and the GTD and is expected to remain an exclusive product aimed at enthusiasts. 

Volkswagen UK expects sales of 350 examples of the Golf R in 2010.  Around 80 per cent of R models will have five doors and there will be a 50:50 split between cars sold with a manual and DSG gearbox. 

Total Golf sales for 2010 are expected to be around 48,000.

Production  
The new Golf R is produced on a parallel production line to the conventional Golf at Volkswagen’s plant in Wolfsburg.  State of the art production systems and assembly technologies are employed to ensure the Golf maintains the highest quality levels.

Wolfsburg
Volkswagen’s factory grounds in Wolfsburg occupy an area of more than six square kilometres.  The 1.6 sq km taken up by factory buildings could comfortably contain the Principality of Monaco.  The network of roads linking the individual production facilities, storage halls, administration buildings and external facilities, is 75 km long, while the plant’s rail network totals 70 km, on which seven locomotives and two shunting robots operate.

The Wolfsburg factory has a production capacity of about 4,000 vehicles per day; these include the Golf, Golf Plus and within the Auto 5000 GmbH subsidiary, the Touran and Tiguan models are built.  In addition to passenger car production, the manufacture of components is a further important activity.  Of all the components produced here, which include drive shafts and injection mouldings, some are installed on site while others are transported to other Volkswagen Group plants around the world.  The Wolfsburg plant (excluding Auto 5000) employs around 43,500 people.

Every day around 120 double-decked railcars together with 160 car transporters leave the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg carrying 2,500 vehicles.  At the same time some 1,900 companies daily deliver their products – raw materials, parts or system groups – to the factory in approximately 150 railcars and 600 trucks.  The two on-site power stations in Wolfsburg provide not only energy for the factory, but also supply power and heat to the town of Wolfsburg.  Both power stations have an installed electrical power output of 442 megawatts.

DESIGN

The Golf R sits 25 mm lower than its standard Golf counterpart, giving it a more dynamic stance – akin to that of the Scirocco coupé.  Yet it shares many of the standard Golf’s evolutionary styling cues.  Compared to the previous generation R32 the new dimensions mean there is more room for five adults inside, thanks to the additional width.  The new Golf R is available in three- and five-door hatchback bodystyles.

Exterior
The new Golf R was styled by the design team at Volkswagen R, formerly known as Individual.  Using the standard Golf as its basis, the Golf R features extensive changes over both the standard car and the GTI model while being restrained yet purposeful in appearance.

The nose of the car features an all-new front bumper which has three large airdams intersected by gloss black horizontal fins.  The left hand scoop feeds air to a compact intercooler while the centre airdam channels air to the radiator.

Framing the airdams is a pair of LED running lights and a set of unique xenon headlight units with black surrounds.  Finally, a new front grille, complete with an ‘R’ badge, sets the Golf R apart from the rest of the Golf range.

Further back, a set of 18-inch ‘Talladega’ alloy wheels and ‘R’ branded brake calipers are joined by a pair of subtle sill extensions and gloss black wing mirrors.  A set of 19-inch ‘Talladega’ wheels are available as an option in either silver or black.

As with the nose of the Golf R, the back of the car also benefits from substantial changes over the standard car.  A new rear bumper is necessary to accommodate the exits for the new, central exit exhaust system – a characteristic first established by the original ‘R’ product, the Golf R32 launched in 2002.

The purposeful, high intensity LED rear light units featured on the Golf R are unique to the model and serve to further distance the range-topping ‘R’ from a GTI or a standard Golf.  Completing the revisions is a subtle boot spoiler and a simple ‘R’ badge mounted below the rear lights.    

Gas-discharge (bi-xenon) headlights
Ultra-efficient gas discharge (bi-xenon) headlights are standard on the Golf R.  These provide a well focused, blue-white light approximately two and a half times more powerful than standard lights, and come with a self-levelling mechanism, high pressure headlight wash as well as dynamic curve lighting.  This turns with the steering to a maximum swivelling angle of 15 degrees to provide better visibility around bends.  When the vehicle is static, these are able to turn to 35 degrees in relation to the car’s axis, useful, for example, when manoeuvring into tight parking spaces.

Interior
In a similar approach to the exterior styling, the interior of the Golf R is enhanced to make it feel more purposeful and help mark it out as leading the Golf range.

The occupants step over unique aluminium ‘R’ kick plate mounted on the door sills, into a set of deep bucket seats which feature ‘R’ logos on the headrest.  Finished in a mix of high-grip cloth mesh and grey Alcantara, the seats strike a balance between support and comfort.  Available as an option are a set of sculpted Recaro bucket seats finished in leather and black Alcantara.

Ahead of the driver a flat-bottomed steering wheel with gloss black spokes to mimic the finish on the front grilles and wing mirrors sits in front of a new set of dials lit by blue needles and a strip of turned aluminium running the width of the dashboard.  The aluminium extends to the door trims and the pedals.

Stowage space
There are plenty of useful stowage areas within the Golf’s cabin.  In addition to the lockable and cooled glovebox there is a driver’s side cubby which can accommodate a drinks can and generous door bins.  A new addition is the space in the driver’s door designed to house a high visibility vest which is compulsory in some countries.

In the Golf R there is a further large storage area between the front seats complete with two cup holders.  The overhead console, which houses the front interior lights and their controls, also has a sunglasses compartment.  In the rear seating useful storage pockets are located for smaller items.

Showing attention to detail, almost every cubby hole in the Golf R has a purpose.  One example is the bottle opener, which fits into the small gap between the cup holders in the space next to the handbrake lever. 

Climate control
The Golf R has fully automatic 2Zone electronic climate control air conditioning.  This two-zone device allows driver and front-seat passenger to adjust their own climates individually and independently.  Temperatures within the two zones are maintained to an accuracy of a degree, with no readjustment necessary whatever the outside conditions.  The intelligent control system even takes into account the amount of sunlight penetration into the cabin, and makes separate calculations to compensate for it on both the driver and passenger sides. 

As an example of further attention to detail, the system switches automatically to recirculating-air mode when reversing and when the windscreen washer sprays are used; the fresh air supply is momentarily cut to prevent smells – of exhaust and windscreen wash – from entering.

Refinement
The Golf R’s interior look is combined with advances made by Volkswagen engineers in reducing wind noise, including a completely new design of door and window seals, a new sound-damping inter-layer within the laminated windscreen and a new engine mounting system.  The result is a reduction in unwanted road noise while allowing the occupants to hear the Golf R’s exhaust note.  It should be noted that in any alterations to sound-deadening, weight was always taken into consideration and heavy noise-damping materials have been systematically replaced with new, lighter materials wherever possible. 

Damping technologies and materials were redesigned in the areas of the mounting points for the body panels, engine firewall, foot pedals, centre tunnel, around the air conditioning and heating system and in the cargo area.  This was following ultrasonic measurements and so-called ‘near-field holography’ which analysed the key areas in which noise could be reduced.

In addition, many secondary noises were eliminated or reduced at source, for example in all belt drives, the turbocharger and charge air distribution as well as in the heating and cooling blower.  Usually reserved for cars of the luxury class, the windows of the Golf were also addressed by noise control measures.  A highly effective noise-damping film is used in the windscreen that eliminates nearly all high-frequency noise in the three kHz frequency range.  At the same time, the thickness of the front side windows was increased by ten per cent. 

Development engineers also came up with a new sealing concept for the doors with new dual-lip window guide seals, for example, giving a quiet interior.

One exterior change which benefits occupants and improves refinement is the Golf R’s wing mirror design.  These have better aerodynamic properties, reduce wind noise and minimise dirt sticking to the mirrors in poor weather conditions.  Also in the area of aerodynamics are the Golf’s newly designed rain channels at the A-pillars which cut wind noise. 

As a result of the aerodynamic changes, the new Golf R has a Cd value of 0.33.  Not only does this mean better refinement, it also of course leads to lower fuel consumption and emissions.  The latest Golf R also maintains the high quality production benefits of its predecessor, including for example laser welding which facilitates smaller panel gaps and in turn by design makes the car quieter, more rigid, more refined and safer to drive.

ENGINE

In a break from tradition, the new Golf R adopts a four-cylinder engine, replacing the V6 units used on the previous two generations of ‘R’ products.

The change from a V6 to a four cylinder engine has the combined benefits of reducing emissions, raising economy and lowering the overall weight of the vehicle.  Compared to the outgoing 3.2-litre V6, the 2.0-litre four cylinder engine weighs 35 kg less which improves the vehicle’s handling and efficiency.

The 1,984 cc, four-cylinder EA113 engine (as opposed to the EA888 fitted to the current Golf GTI) is derived from the powerplant from the Mk V Golf GTI.  To extract the extra power the block has been reinforced with an entirely new alloy head, uprated pistons, conrods and high pressure injectors. An uprated turbocharger generating 1.2 bar of boost is joined by a new intercooler to cope with the extra heat generated.  The result is 270 PS developed at 6,000 rpm and 258 lbs ft of torque at 2,500 rpm.

The EA113 engine allows the new Golf R to be the fastest, cleanest and most responsive iteration of the Golf yet.

  Golf IV R32
(2002)
Golf V R32
(2005)
Golf R
(2009)
Engine capacity (litres / cc) 3.2 / 3,189 cc
(6 cylinder, naturally aspirated)
3.2 / 3,189 cc
(6 cylinder, naturally aspirated)
2.0 / 1,984 cc
(4 cylinder, turbocharged)
Power output (PS @ rpm) 243 PS @ 6,250 253 PS @ 6,300 270 PS @ 6,000
Max torque 236 lbs ft @ 2,800 – 3,200 rpm 236 lbs ft @ 2,500 – 3,000 rpm 258 lbs ft @ 2,500 rpm
0-62 mph (secs) 6.6 6.5 (DSG: 6.2) 5.7 (DSG: 5.5)
Top speed (mph) 153 155 155 (limited)
Economy (mpg) 24.6 26.4 (DSG: 29.1) 33.2 (DSG: 33.6)
CO2 (g/km) 276 257 (DSG: 233) 199 (DSG:195)
Kerb weight (kg) 1,477 1,510 1,446

Gearboxes
The Golf R is available with a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed DSG automatic gearbox.  Volkswagen’s seven-speed DSG gearbox is not offered; the reason for this is that while the six-speed version can be paired with high torque engines (up to 350 Nm), the seven-speed variant is more effective in combination with smaller engines with torque outputs of up to 250 Nm.  All gearboxes in the Golf R are filled with lifetime oil and require no routine maintenance.

Six-speed manual
The Golf R’s manual six-speed gearbox features a magnesium selector housing and cable operation with very short lever movements.  Three-cone synchromesh for the lower gears ensures a pleasant shift action.  Reduced-friction bearings further increase the efficiency of the unit and cut fuel consumption. 

DSG – Direct Shift Gearbox
At launch in 2005, Volkswagen’s Direct Shift Gearbox was a true innovation, combining the comfort of an automatic gearbox with the responsiveness and economy of a manual unit.

The six-speed, transversely mounted 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.  Essentially it is two gearboxes in one.

With this clutch management system, the interruptions in power that are typical of even an automatic-shift manual 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. 

The Golf R features a multifunction steering wheel; if DSG is selected this also has a ‘paddle shift’ to allow up- and down-gear changes without the driver needing to remove his or her hands from the steering wheel.

Servicing
Like on any Golf, Volkswagen offers Golf R customers a choice of servicing regime.  They can choose Time and Distance or LongLife Servicing and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use. 

Time and Distance Servicing is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used in the following way:

  • Predominantly city centre driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, hard acceleration and heavy braking

In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months. 

LongLife Servicing is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys.  The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner.  In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service.  A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed. 

With the LongLife system, the vehicle can cover typically between 10,000 and 18,000 miles (approx) or 24 months (whichever is sooner) between oil changes.  An inspection service is typically due in the third year of ownership or at 40,000 miles and thereafter every second year for vehicles with an annual mileage of around 10,000 miles.

Customers can choose between Time and Distance or LongLife Servicing at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

RUNNING GEAR

A new era for Volkswagen suspension design was ushered in with the arrival of the Mk V Golf and the latest model retains the key characteristics of this successful and award-winning set-up, namely strut-type front and four-link rear suspension.  The Golf R uses this basic structure.  

The Golf R differs from every other Golf, including the GTI, with unique springs, dampers and anti-roll bars.  It’s also the only Golf in the range to feature 4MOTION all-wheel drive.

The Golf R sits 25 mm lower than the conventional Golf on stiffer springs and dampers.  It shares exactly the same front track as the GTI yet bears a marginally wider rear track due to addition of the 4MOTION system.

The 4MOTION all-wheel drive system differs from that fitted to the outgoing car. Unlike the system fitted to the R32 that relied on differing wheel speeds between the front and rear axles to engage the four-wheel drive, the system fitted to the Golf R uses a pre-charged hydraulic system that’s able to react more quickly while also limiting the torque being channelled through either axle to reduce wheelspin.  In extreme cases up to 100 per cent of the torque can be channelled to the rear wheels if required.

New 345 mm diameter front brake discs (rear: 310 mm) and calipers finished in gloss black and embossed with the ‘R’ logo.  The Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) has also been revised for the Golf R with two stages designed for track use.  Finally, the electro-mechanical power steering system has been tweaked to sharpen responses.  

Available as an option on the Golf R is Volkswagen’s Adaptive Chassis Control system (ACC) which was first seen on the Passat CC.  Naturally the Golf also features ABS with the latest incarnation of ESP to ensure safe handling and deceleration where necessary.

Front running gear
At the front all Golf models uses proven strut-type front suspension to offer direct steering feedback, high rigidity under cornering loads and minimal body roll.

Ride and handling benefit from the car’s clever mounting concept for the lower wishbone, with separate mountings for spring and damper on the suspension strut tower, a lightweight twin-sleeve damper unit and optimised spring rates.

Multi-link rear axle
The introduction of a four-link rear suspension system was a major stride forwards for the Golf’s market segment in terms of providing the optimum combination of handling dynamics and ride comfort.

The compact four-link layout features three lateral control arms – the spring mounting, the track rod and the upper control arm – and a trailing link at each wheel.  Suspension assemblies are attached by way of a rear-axle subframe and, as at the front, rubber-and-metal mountings that are soft in torsion but stiff radially are used to ensure that the anti-roll bar responds immediately and suppresses body roll effectively.  This combines accurate handling with good ride and low road noise levels.

The spring and damper on each side are located separately; the spring bears directly on the trailing link and the damper unit is attached to the wheel hub assembly.  The suspension geometry on the compression stroke generates a toe steering effect that maintains neutral behaviour or slight understeer in all driving and load-carrying situations.  Among the benefits of the almost neutral layout are excellent straight-running stability characteristics on highly uneven road surfaces and minimised tyre wear.

Electro-mechanical power steering
The Golf R uses a third generation electro-mechanical power steering system (EPS) which is able to vary the feel of the steering wheel to suit the speed and driving situation: firm and direct when driving hard, effortless at parking speeds.

Other advantages of the system include its mild self-centring action, its ability to compensate for different driving hazards, like crosswinds and steep road cambers, and a beneficial effect on fuel economy.

The Golf R has a turning circle of 10.9 metres, and three turns lock to lock. 

Hydraulic Brake Assist
Working in conjunction with the other elements of the braking system, this 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.

Adaptive Chassis Control – ACC
Engineers have in the past been constrained to design a suspension system which is biased either towards comfort or sportiness, always resulting in some form of compromise.  The ideal, it was decided, would be to produce a chassis that could continually adapt to road conditions and the particular wishes of the driver or passengers.  This has been achieved for the Golf R, and all models in the Golf range from SE upwards can be specified with an Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC) system.  Here not only can the suspension’s damping characteristics be controlled at the touch of a button, but the electro-mechanical power steering and accelerator response are also modified at the same time.

ACC functions via a set of four electrically adjustable dampers operated through pneumatic valves.  Each damper is fitted with characteristic map control, a gateway control module that serves as an interface with the CAN data networks in the Golf R – these comprise three sensors for measuring wheel displacement, three sensors for measuring movements of the body structure and a control module for the damping. 

These sensors constantly (up to 1,000 times per second) measure the vehicle’s behaviour – be it under braking, acceleration or cornering – and react almost instantaneously to ensure the optimum mix of chassis agility and comfort at all times.  The vehicle defaults to ‘Normal’ mode in which the system strikes a balance for general use.  Should the driver select ‘Sport’ mode the steering assistance is reduced, the damping is hardened and the throttle responses are sharpened as the mapping changes.  This is intended for either twisty roads or track driving.  In ‘Comfort’ the damping is softened and the steering assistance is increased to provide a smooth and controlled ride best suited to motorway driving.

In the case of the Golf R the system has been modified to provide a unique range of settings, each slightly firmer than those featured on the conventional system and developed to match the Golf R’s performance.

Hill hold function
All Golf models feature a hill hold function as standard.  The system is useful when the car stops for short periods (such as in heavy town traffic).  The parking brake now comes on automatically whenever the vehicle is brought to rest on the footbrake preventing the car from rolling forwards or backwards.  The brake is released as soon as the accelerator is pressed.  This function comes into its own when crawling along in heavy traffic on long inclines.

EQUIPMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Sitting at the top of the Golf range, the Golf R has the following equipment highlights:

  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist)
  • 4MOTION four-wheel drive
  • unique sports suspension lowered by 25 mm
  • revised ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) including EDL (Electronic Differential Lock) and ASR (Traction Control); hill hold function
  • driver’s and front passenger’s airbags (passenger’s airbag deactivation switch)
  • curtain airbag system, front and rear
  • front seat side impact airbags, driver’s knee airbag
  • driver’s and front passenger’s whiplash-optimised head restraints
  • three rear three-point seatbelts and head restraints
  • warning buzzer and light for front seatbelts if unfastened
  • Isofix child seat preparation (for two rear child seats)
  • electronic engine immobiliser; alarm with interior protection
  • remote central locking with two remote folding keys
  • front ‘R’ sport seats finished in ‘Kyalami’ cloth
  • easy entry sliding seats (for access to rear seats – three-door only)
  • height and reach adjustable steering wheel
  • split folding rear seat backrest 60:40
  • front and rear (5dr only) electric windows
  • multifunction computer; multifunction ‘R’ steering wheel with (DSG only) paddle shift
  • MDI (Multi Device Interface) with USB and iPod connection cables
  • RCD 310 radio/MP3 compatible CD player with eight speakers and AUX-in socket for connection to external multimedia source (e.g. iPod and MP3 player)
  • 2Zone electronic climate control
  • illuminated, cooled and lockable glovebox
  • front centre armrest with storage compartment; front seat back storage pockets
  • luggage compartment storage box; load-through provision
  • four load lashing points and 12V socket in luggage compartment
  • body-coloured bumpers, door handles and electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors with integrated indicators
  • LED daytime running lights; bi-xenon headlights with dynamic curve lighting
  • gloss black radiator grille with ‘R’ badge
  • twin central exhaust tailpipes; high intensity LED rear light units
  • rear tinted windows from B-pillar back
  • R styling pack: uniquely shaped front and rear bumpers with gloss black highlights, R badging; rear roof spoiler
  • extended sill strips, body colour
  • 7.5Jx18 ‘Talladega’ alloy wheels with 225/40 R18 tyres and anti-theft bolts
  • steel space saver spare wheel
  • automatic coming and leaving home lighting function plus dusk sensor
  • rain sensor and automatic dimming interior rear-view mirror  
  • ‘Silver Lane’ decorative inserts in dash and door panels
  • chrome trim on electric window and door mirror switches
  • ‘R’ gear lever knob, ‘R’ kick plates
  • leather-trimmed three-spoke steering wheel with R logo and gloss black highlights
  • aluminium-look pedals
  • carpet mats front and rear

FACTORY-FIT OPTIONS

A number of factory- and retailer-fit options are available on the new Golf R models, allowing buyers to customise their vehicles further.  These include 19-inch alloy wheels, ACC (Adaptive Chassis Control), cruise control, DAB compatible digital radio, parking assistance systems, satellite navigation and leather Recaro bucket seats.  For full details on option availability please see the latest price list.  

Rear-view camera
This is located behind the rear badge – so the lens is always clean – and transmits a real-time, distortion-free image of what is behind the car to the screen in the central display.  This allows the driver to see and recognise obstacles behind the car, and manoeuvre into the tightest parking spaces.  While moving, the screen marks out the car’s steering movements with coloured orientation lines.  This facility can also be extremely useful when hooking up to a tow hitch. 

DVD touchscreen navigation/radio system
Volkswagen’s latest touchscreen DVD navigation and entertainment system is offered on the Golf R.  The installation uses a touchscreen for fast, intuitive operation of the entertainment and navigation menus and displaying of information.  

With this system, as well as playing CDs in the usual manner, favourite tracks can also be stored onto the internal, 30 GB hard-drive via an SD card slot in the front of the unit.  The system can also be used to play DVDs when the car is stationary.  The hard-drive can also be used to store navigation mapping, freeing up the CD/DVD drive.  In addition routes can be recorded while driving and then re-traced by following guidance provided by the stored waypoints.  This can be particularly useful in off-road situations and regions for which digital mapping does not exist.   

For the navigation to function, rear ABS wheel sensors are used to determine the distance the car has covered and to provide information when the car is turning.  Further system components include a solid state magnetic compass concealed under the roof and a three-way roof aerial for radio and GPS (Global Positioning System).  The aerial receives signals from the satellites in orbit from which the system is able to calculate the position of the car on the surface of the earth.

Dynaudio sound system
A 300 watt premium entertainment system from Danish hi-fi specialist Dynaudio provides exceptional sound quality especially compared with other systems in this market sector.  The eight-channel system delivering up to a true 300 watts RMS without unwanted vibrations in the vehicle structure sets a new standard in this class. 

SAFETY AND SECURITY

The Golf brand has always been synonymous with safety, and in designing the sixth generation, developers were set the task of making this car the safest Golf yet.

That’s why the Golf is being offered with a seamless package of standard safety features.  On the passive side, there is a further perfected safety body (including additional reinforcement in the door area and optimised pedestrian protection), seven airbags including a knee airbag on the driver’s side and a patented head restraint system for driver and front passenger (WOKS).  The Golf was the first Volkswagen to have a rear ‘belt-up request’ system; this is included when a customer specifies the option of rear side airbags.  Furthermore, a new sensor concept for crash detection is was also introduced on the new Golf.  Naturally the Golf R has the same level of safety features as its standard Golf counterparts.

New sensor concept for crash detection
The sixth generation of Golf is equipped with a new sensor concept for detecting crash intensity and correspondingly influencing airbag ignition.  This involves the electronics, which are located centrally in the passenger compartment, evaluating the ‘felt’ low-frequency deceleration signals.  At the same time, specially tuned accelerometers measure the frequency components in the mid or ‘audible’ range.  These signal components are generated as a body wave when load-bearing structures in the front car area rapidly deform.  They propagate at high speed throughout the vehicle structure and supply precise and quickly available information about the severity of the crash.

By intelligently linking ‘felt’ and ‘audible’ signal components, it is possible to obtain a faster and at the same time more reliable impression of the crash from the airbag sensors.  That enables better adaptation of airbags and seatbelt tensioners to the crash situation, to protect passengers in the most appropriate way.  The Golf’s sensor system was awarded the Bavarian Innovation Prize in Germany.

Knee airbag
Standard equipment on the Golf includes two front airbags, two side airbags and two head airbags.  For the first time, the Golf also has a knee airbag system on the driver’s side.  The special mounting location of the knee airbag – beneath the knee impact area on the instrument panel – ensures that there is no contact between the airbag door and the lower leg.

In the event of a crash the airbag deploys in front of the driver’s knees in less than 20 milliseconds and absorbs – in conjunction with the seatbelt and front airbag – a significant share of the crash energy.  The driver is integrated into the vehicle’s deceleration early via the thighs and pelvis, and the steering wheel airbag cushions the driver’s chest and head at the optimal angle in the resulting, gently introduced upper body movement.

In general, the knee airbag protects the driver’s legs from a hard collision with the steering column and instrument panel.  In an offset impact, the feet are also better protected against lateral ankle twist.

Front, side and head airbags
The driver and front passenger airbags together with the knee airbag and seatbelt system, form a precisely co-ordinated front restraint system on the Golf.  As on previous generation models, the side airbags are still integrated in the seatbacks of the front seats, which ensures they are always in the best position to protect the driver and front passenger.  These protect the chest, abdomen and pelvis and have been optimally tuned to the car’s more rigid lateral structure.  The same is true of the optional rear side airbags in the five-door version.

Furthermore, Volkswagen has introduced standard head airbags that help to prevent high biomechanical loads on the head.  Specifically, these airbags cover the side window area from the A- to the C-pillar and from the roofliner to the door window sill.  This means maximum protection at all seating positions regardless of body size because protection over a large area prevents the head and extremities from swinging out and prevents objects from penetrating the car’s interior.  Due to the long holding time of the head airbags, they remain largely effective even in secondary collisions such as those occurring in the event of a rollover.

Whiplash Optimised Head Restraint System: WOKS
Injuries caused by hyperextensions of the cervical spine – or whiplash – are extremely common following car accidents.  Volkswagen has developed WOKS – its Whiplash Optimised Head Restraint System – to counteract whiplash injuries by co-ordinating the movements of the head and upper body as synchronously as possible via the seatbacks and head restraints.  The latest generation of WOKS is implemented as standard on the Golf.

To reduce the risk of injury, excellent protection is afforded by achieving defined deceleration velocity of the upper body via the seatback, co-ordinated deceleration of the head via the head restraint, and balanced motions of head and upper body.  Key to this are the special contour of the head restraints and seatbacks as well as the hardness of the foam material used here.  The contoured shape of the head restraints is being patented by Volkswagen.  On related studies, WOKS has demonstrated a level of protective potential that is substantially better than the biomechanical values attained by many active systems.

New seatbelt fastening detection for the rear
Another highlight in the Golf is the seatbelt fastening detection system for rear passengers.  This function is standard when optional side airbags and belt tensioners are ordered for the outer rear seat positions.  Thanks to this warning system, the driver can tell whether occupants are buckled up in the rear when starting the car and during the drive.

After switching on the ignition, the driver is informed via the multifunctional display for 30 seconds whether occupants are buckled up in the rear.  If a seatbelt is fastened, a relevant symbol is shown (buckled person) for the specific seat location; an unfastened seatbelt is also displayed (empty seat).  While driving, if the rear seatbelts are unfastened at a vehicle speed greater than 25 km/h (approx 15 mph), the seatbelt indicator flashes for 30 seconds (displayed symbol alternates between empty seat and buckled person); an acoustic signal is also heard.

Euro NCAP test results
The sixth generation Golf was tested ahead of launch by the Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) crash test agency.

It achieved 36 out of a possible 37 points for occupant protection leading to a five-star award.  In the area of child safety the Golf scored four stars; a further three stars were awarded for pedestrian safety.  It was later declared by Euro NCAP to be the safest car of 2009.

Insurance group
Thanks to its comprehensive safety and security features, the Golf R has an ABI (Association of British Insurers) insurance rating of 36E.  This is based on the post-December 2009 new ratings system of 1 to 50 rather than the previously used 1 to 20.

WARRANTIES

All Golf models have a three year (first and second year manufacturer operated, third year retailer operated) / 60,000 mile mechanical warranty.  In addition, they come with a 12 year body protection guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance which includes European breakdown cover.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

The new Golf R is the most powerful and fastest accelerating Golf ever produced.  Developed by Volkswagen R, formerly known as Individual, the special projects wing of Volkswagen, and following on from the Mk IV and Mk V Golf R32 models, the Golf R is equipped with a 2.0-litre TSI four cylinder engine developing 270 PS and a new four-wheel drive system.

The very first ‘R’ product, the Golf R32, was launched in 2002.  Based on the Mk IV Golf, the R32 was intended as a low volume, keenly focussed performance variant of the Golf aimed at enthusiasts.  Designed and developed by R, and built on a bespoke production line, the R models featured significant mechanical and aesthetic modifications to allow the R model its own distinct character and help separate it from both the standard car and the GTI.

This trend continued in 2009 with the introduction of the new Golf R at the Frankfurt Motor Show.  The latest model features the greatest number of modifications yet made to an R product over the model on which it’s based.  Its engine, four-wheel drive system, springs, dampers, anti-roll bars and braking system, the traction control, exhaust system, body styling including new bumpers, front and rear lights, sill extensions, wheels and mirrors all differ from any other Golf variant.  The result is not only the fastest Golf R product yet produced but also the most efficient.

This is, in part, down to the new engine which is 35 kg lighter and 20 PS more powerful than the 3.2-litre V6 found in the outgoing Golf R32; it’s also more efficient.  Economy rises from a combined 26.4 mpg to 33.2 mpg while CO2 emissions fall from 255 g/km to 199 g/km.  Despite the gains in efficiency the Golf R is faster and sharper than ever – the new car can accelerate from rest to 62 mph in just 5.7 seconds.  Equipped with a six-speed DSG gearbox, this figure falls to 5.5 seconds while top speed is limited to 155 mph.

The new Golf R opened for ordering in October 2009 with first deliveries taking place in February 2010.    

SUMMARY

  • New Golf R world debut at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show
  • The most powerful and fastest accelerating Golf ever produced
  • Despite being faster and more powerful than the Golf R32 it replaces, the Golf R is also significantly more economical and emits less CO2
  • Developed by Volkswagen R, formerly Individual, the special projects wing of Volkswagen, and following on from the Mk IV and Mk V Golf R32 models the new Golf R is equipped with a new 2.0-litre TSI four-cylinder engine developing 270 PS channelled through all four wheels
  • Golf R is faster and sharper than ever – the new car can accelerate from rest to 62 mph in just 5.7 seconds 
  • Equipped with a six-speed DSG gearbox, this figure falls to 5.5 seconds while the top speed is limited to 155 mph
  • Powered by the 1,984 cc, four-cylinder EA113 engine (as opposed to the EA888 fitted to the current Golf GTI) derived from the Mk V Golf GTI 
  • To extract the extra power the block has been reinforced with an entirely new alloy head, uprated pistons, conrods and high pressure injectors.  An uprated turbocharger generating 1.2 bar of boost is joined by a new intercooler to cope with the extra heat generated
  • 270 PS developed at 6,000 rpm and 236 lbs ft of torque at 2,500 rpm
  • New 345 mm diameter front brake discs (rear: 310 mm) and callipers are joined by uprated suspension that’s been lowered by 25 mm with revised spring and damper rates and new anti-roll bars
  • Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) has also been revised for the Golf R
  • Electro-mechanical power steering has been sharpened to allow the Golf R quicker responses
  • New four-wheel drive system now reacts faster and controls wheelspin more effectively with control over torque loadings between the axles
  • Up to 100 per cent of the available torque can be directed to the rear axle if required
  • New front and rear bumpers complete with LED running lights at the front and a gloss black diffuser at the rear housing a pair of central exit exhausts set the Golf R apart from the GTI.  A set of xenon headlights and a new black grille and wing mirrors extend back to a set of sill extensions framed by 18-inch five-spoke wheels complete with 225/40 tyres as standard – 19-inch items with 235/35 tyres can be specified as an option
  • At the back, unique rear light units lend the Golf R an aggressive look – the high-intensity LED bulbs hidden behind smoked lenses
  • Inside, new seats finished in grey Alcantara are contrasted against high-grip black mesh cloth.  Gloss black highlights throughout the interior are complemented by the subtle, electric blue needles in the revised instrument cluster

Market information
The Golf R sits at the top of the Golf range, above the GTI and the GTD and is expected to remain an exclusive product aimed at enthusiasts. 

Volkswagen UK expects sales of 350 examples of the Golf R in 2010.  Around 80 per cent of R models will have five doors and there will be a 50:50 split between cars sold with a manual and DSG gearbox. 

Total Golf sales for 2010 are expected to be around 48,000.

Production  
The new Golf R is produced on a parallel production line to the conventional Golf at Volkswagen’s plant in Wolfsburg.  State of the art production systems and assembly technologies are employed to ensure the Golf maintains the highest quality levels.

Wolfsburg
Volkswagen’s factory grounds in Wolfsburg occupy an area of more than six square kilometres.  The 1.6 sq km taken up by factory buildings could comfortably contain the Principality of Monaco.  The network of roads linking the individual production facilities, storage halls, administration buildings and external facilities, is 75 km long, while the plant’s rail network totals 70 km, on which seven locomotives and two shunting robots operate.

The Wolfsburg factory has a production capacity of about 4,000 vehicles per day; these include the Golf, Golf Plus and within the Auto 5000 GmbH subsidiary, the Touran and Tiguan models are built.  In addition to passenger car production, the manufacture of components is a further important activity.  Of all the components produced here, which include drive shafts and injection mouldings, some are installed on site while others are transported to other Volkswagen Group plants around the world.  The Wolfsburg plant (excluding Auto 5000) employs around 43,500 people.

Every day around 120 double-decked railcars together with 160 car transporters leave the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg carrying 2,500 vehicles.  At the same time some 1,900 companies daily deliver their products – raw materials, parts or system groups – to the factory in approximately 150 railcars and 600 trucks.  The two on-site power stations in Wolfsburg provide not only energy for the factory, but also supply power and heat to the town of Wolfsburg.  Both power stations have an installed electrical power output of 442 megawatts.

DESIGN

The Golf R sits 25 mm lower than its standard Golf counterpart, giving it a more dynamic stance – akin to that of the Scirocco coupé.  Yet it shares many of the standard Golf’s evolutionary styling cues.  Compared to the previous generation R32 the new dimensions mean there is more room for five adults inside, thanks to the additional width.  The new Golf R is available in three- and five-door hatchback bodystyles.

Exterior
The new Golf R was styled by the design team at Volkswagen R, formerly known as Individual.  Using the standard Golf as its basis, the Golf R features extensive changes over both the standard car and the GTI model while being restrained yet purposeful in appearance.

The nose of the car features an all-new front bumper which has three large airdams intersected by gloss black horizontal fins.  The left hand scoop feeds air to a compact intercooler while the centre airdam channels air to the radiator.

Framing the airdams is a pair of LED running lights and a set of unique xenon headlight units with black surrounds.  Finally, a new front grille, complete with an ‘R’ badge, sets the Golf R apart from the rest of the Golf range.

Further back, a set of 18-inch ‘Talladega’ alloy wheels and ‘R’ branded brake calipers are joined by a pair of subtle sill extensions and gloss black wing mirrors.  A set of 19-inch ‘Talladega’ wheels are available as an option in either silver or black.

As with the nose of the Golf R, the back of the car also benefits from substantial changes over the standard car.  A new rear bumper is necessary to accommodate the exits for the new, central exit exhaust system – a characteristic first established by the original ‘R’ product, the Golf R32 launched in 2002.

The purposeful, high intensity LED rear light units featured on the Golf R are unique to the model and serve to further distance the range-topping ‘R’ from a GTI or a standard Golf.  Completing the revisions is a subtle boot spoiler and a simple ‘R’ badge mounted below the rear lights.    

Gas-discharge (bi-xenon) headlights
Ultra-efficient gas discharge (bi-xenon) headlights are standard on the Golf R.  These provide a well focused, blue-white light approximately two and a half times more powerful than standard lights, and come with a self-levelling mechanism, high pressure headlight wash as well as dynamic curve lighting.  This turns with the steering to a maximum swivelling angle of 15 degrees to provide better visibility around bends.  When the vehicle is static, these are able to turn to 35 degrees in relation to the car’s axis, useful, for example, when manoeuvring into tight parking spaces.

Interior
In a similar approach to the exterior styling, the interior of the Golf R is enhanced to make it feel more purposeful and help mark it out as leading the Golf range.

The occupants step over unique aluminium ‘R’ kick plate mounted on the door sills, into a set of deep bucket seats which feature ‘R’ logos on the headrest.  Finished in a mix of high-grip cloth mesh and grey Alcantara, the seats strike a balance between support and comfort.  Available as an option are a set of sculpted Recaro bucket seats finished in leather and black Alcantara.

Ahead of the driver a flat-bottomed steering wheel with gloss black spokes to mimic the finish on the front grilles and wing mirrors sits in front of a new set of dials lit by blue needles and a strip of turned aluminium running the width of the dashboard.  The aluminium extends to the door trims and the pedals.

Stowage space
There are plenty of useful stowage areas within the Golf’s cabin.  In addition to the lockable and cooled glovebox there is a driver’s side cubby which can accommodate a drinks can and generous door bins.  A new addition is the space in the driver’s door designed to house a high visibility vest which is compulsory in some countries.

In the Golf R there is a further large storage area between the front seats complete with two cup holders.  The overhead console, which houses the front interior lights and their controls, also has a sunglasses compartment.  In the rear seating useful storage pockets are located for smaller items.

Showing attention to detail, almost every cubby hole in the Golf R has a purpose.  One example is the bottle opener, which fits into the small gap between the cup holders in the space next to the handbrake lever. 

Climate control
The Golf R has fully automatic 2Zone electronic climate control air conditioning.  This two-zone device allows driver and front-seat passenger to adjust their own climates individually and independently.  Temperatures within the two zones are maintained to an accuracy of a degree, with no readjustment necessary whatever the outside conditions.  The intelligent control system even takes into account the amount of sunlight penetration into the cabin, and makes separate calculations to compensate for it on both the driver and passenger sides. 

As an example of further attention to detail, the system switches automatically to recirculating-air mode when reversing and when the windscreen washer sprays are used; the fresh air supply is momentarily cut to prevent smells – of exhaust and windscreen wash – from entering.

Refinement
The Golf R’s interior look is combined with advances made by Volkswagen engineers in reducing wind noise, including a completely new design of door and window seals, a new sound-damping inter-layer within the laminated windscreen and a new engine mounting system.  The result is a reduction in unwanted road noise while allowing the occupants to hear the Golf R’s exhaust note.  It should be noted that in any alterations to sound-deadening, weight was always taken into consideration and heavy noise-damping materials have been systematically replaced with new, lighter materials wherever possible. 

Damping technologies and materials were redesigned in the areas of the mounting points for the body panels, engine firewall, foot pedals, centre tunnel, around the air conditioning and heating system and in the cargo area.  This was following ultrasonic measurements and so-called ‘near-field holography’ which analysed the key areas in which noise could be reduced.

In addition, many secondary noises were eliminated or reduced at source, for example in all belt drives, the turbocharger and charge air distribution as well as in the heating and cooling blower.  Usually reserved for cars of the luxury class, the windows of the Golf were also addressed by noise control measures.  A highly effective noise-damping film is used in the windscreen that eliminates nearly all high-frequency noise in the three kHz frequency range.  At the same time, the thickness of the front side windows was increased by ten per cent. 

Development engineers also came up with a new sealing concept for the doors with new dual-lip window guide seals, for example, giving a quiet interior.

One exterior change which benefits occupants and improves refinement is the Golf R’s wing mirror design.  These have better aerodynamic properties, reduce wind noise and minimise dirt sticking to the mirrors in poor weather conditions.  Also in the area of aerodynamics are the Golf’s newly designed rain channels at the A-pillars which cut wind noise. 

As a result of the aerodynamic changes, the new Golf R has a Cd value of 0.33.  Not only does this mean better refinement, it also of course leads to lower fuel consumption and emissions.  The latest Golf R also maintains the high quality production benefits of its predecessor, including for example laser welding which facilitates smaller panel gaps and in turn by design makes the car quieter, more rigid, more refined and safer to drive.

ENGINE

In a break from tradition, the new Golf R adopts a four-cylinder engine, replacing the V6 units used on the previous two generations of ‘R’ products.

The change from a V6 to a four cylinder engine has the combined benefits of reducing emissions, raising economy and lowering the overall weight of the vehicle.  Compared to the outgoing 3.2-litre V6, the 2.0-litre four cylinder engine weighs 35 kg less which improves the vehicle’s handling and efficiency.

The 1,984 cc, four-cylinder EA113 engine (as opposed to the EA888 fitted to the current Golf GTI) is derived from the powerplant from the Mk V Golf GTI.  To extract the extra power the block has been reinforced with an entirely new alloy head, uprated pistons, conrods and high pressure injectors. An uprated turbocharger generating 1.2 bar of boost is joined by a new intercooler to cope with the extra heat generated.  The result is 270 PS developed at 6,000 rpm and 258 lbs ft of torque at 2,500 rpm.

The EA113 engine allows the new Golf R to be the fastest, cleanest and most responsive iteration of the Golf yet.

  Golf IV R32
(2002)
Golf V R32
(2005)
Golf R
(2009)
Engine capacity (litres / cc) 3.2 / 3,189 cc
(6 cylinder, naturally aspirated)
3.2 / 3,189 cc
(6 cylinder, naturally aspirated)
2.0 / 1,984 cc
(4 cylinder, turbocharged)
Power output (PS @ rpm) 243 PS @ 6,250 253 PS @ 6,300 270 PS @ 6,000
Max torque 236 lbs ft @ 2,800 – 3,200 rpm 236 lbs ft @ 2,500 – 3,000 rpm 258 lbs ft @ 2,500 rpm
0-62 mph (secs) 6.6 6.5 (DSG: 6.2) 5.7 (DSG: 5.5)
Top speed (mph) 153 155 155 (limited)
Economy (mpg) 24.6 26.4 (DSG: 29.1) 33.2 (DSG: 33.6)
CO2 (g/km) 276 257 (DSG: 233) 199 (DSG:195)
Kerb weight (kg) 1,477 1,510 1,446

Gearboxes
The Golf R is available with a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed DSG automatic gearbox.  Volkswagen’s seven-speed DSG gearbox is not offered; the reason for this is that while the six-speed version can be paired with high torque engines (up to 350 Nm), the seven-speed variant is more effective in combination with smaller engines with torque outputs of up to 250 Nm.  All gearboxes in the Golf R are filled with lifetime oil and require no routine maintenance.

Six-speed manual
The Golf R’s manual six-speed gearbox features a magnesium selector housing and cable operation with very short lever movements.  Three-cone synchromesh for the lower gears ensures a pleasant shift action.  Reduced-friction bearings further increase the efficiency of the unit and cut fuel consumption. 

DSG – Direct Shift Gearbox
At launch in 2005, Volkswagen’s Direct Shift Gearbox was a true innovation, combining the comfort of an automatic gearbox with the responsiveness and economy of a manual unit.

The six-speed, transversely mounted 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.  Essentially it is two gearboxes in one.

With this clutch management system, the interruptions in power that are typical of even an automatic-shift manual 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. 

The Golf R features a multifunction steering wheel; if DSG is selected this also has a ‘paddle shift’ to allow up- and down-gear changes without the driver needing to remove his or her hands from the steering wheel.

Servicing
Like on any Golf, Volkswagen offers Golf R customers a choice of servicing regime.  They can choose Time and Distance or LongLife Servicing and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use. 

Time and Distance Servicing is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used in the following way:

  • Predominantly city centre driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, hard acceleration and heavy braking

In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months. 

LongLife Servicing is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys.  The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner.  In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service.  A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed. 

With the LongLife system, the vehicle can cover typically between 10,000 and 18,000 miles (approx) or 24 months (whichever is sooner) between oil changes.  An inspection service is typically due in the third year of ownership or at 40,000 miles and thereafter every second year for vehicles with an annual mileage of around 10,000 miles.

Customers can choose between Time and Distance or LongLife Servicing at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

RUNNING GEAR

A new era for Volkswagen suspension design was ushered in with the arrival of the Mk V Golf and the latest model retains the key characteristics of this successful and award-winning set-up, namely strut-type front and four-link rear suspension.  The Golf R uses this basic structure.  

The Golf R differs from every other Golf, including the GTI, with unique springs, dampers and anti-roll bars.  It’s also the only Golf in the range to feature 4MOTION all-wheel drive.

The Golf R sits 25 mm lower than the conventional Golf on stiffer springs and dampers.  It shares exactly the same front track as the GTI yet bears a marginally wider rear track due to addition of the 4MOTION system.

The 4MOTION all-wheel drive system differs from that fitted to the outgoing car. Unlike the system fitted to the R32 that relied on differing wheel speeds between the front and rear axles to engage the four-wheel drive, the system fitted to the Golf R uses a pre-charged hydraulic system that’s able to react more quickly while also limiting the torque being channelled through either axle to reduce wheelspin.  In extreme cases up to 100 per cent of the torque can be channelled to the rear wheels if required.

New 345 mm diameter front brake discs (rear: 310 mm) and calipers finished in gloss black and embossed with the ‘R’ logo.  The Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) has also been revised for the Golf R with two stages designed for track use.  Finally, the electro-mechanical power steering system has been tweaked to sharpen responses.  

Available as an option on the Golf R is Volkswagen’s Adaptive Chassis Control system (ACC) which was first seen on the Passat CC.  Naturally the Golf also features ABS with the latest incarnation of ESP to ensure safe handling and deceleration where necessary.

Front running gear
At the front all Golf models uses proven strut-type front suspension to offer direct steering feedback, high rigidity under cornering loads and minimal body roll.

Ride and handling benefit from the car’s clever mounting concept for the lower wishbone, with separate mountings for spring and damper on the suspension strut tower, a lightweight twin-sleeve damper unit and optimised spring rates.

Multi-link rear axle
The introduction of a four-link rear suspension system was a major stride forwards for the Golf’s market segment in terms of providing the optimum combination of handling dynamics and ride comfort.

The compact four-link layout features three lateral control arms – the spring mounting, the track rod and the upper control arm – and a trailing link at each wheel.  Suspension assemblies are attached by way of a rear-axle subframe and, as at the front, rubber-and-metal mountings that are soft in torsion but stiff radially are used to ensure that the anti-roll bar responds immediately and suppresses body roll effectively.  This combines accurate handling with good ride and low road noise levels.

The spring and damper on each side are located separately; the spring bears directly on the trailing link and the damper unit is attached to the wheel hub assembly.  The suspension geometry on the compression stroke generates a toe steering effect that maintains neutral behaviour or slight understeer in all driving and load-carrying situations.  Among the benefits of the almost neutral layout are excellent straight-running stability characteristics on highly uneven road surfaces and minimised tyre wear.

Electro-mechanical power steering
The Golf R uses a third generation electro-mechanical power steering system (EPS) which is able to vary the feel of the steering wheel to suit the speed and driving situation: firm and direct when driving hard, effortless at parking speeds.

Other advantages of the system include its mild self-centring action, its ability to compensate for different driving hazards, like crosswinds and steep road cambers, and a beneficial effect on fuel economy.

The Golf R has a turning circle of 10.9 metres, and three turns lock to lock. 

Hydraulic Brake Assist
Working in conjunction with the other elements of the braking system, this 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.

Adaptive Chassis Control – ACC
Engineers have in the past been constrained to design a suspension system which is biased either towards comfort or sportiness, always resulting in some form of compromise.  The ideal, it was decided, would be to produce a chassis that could continually adapt to road conditions and the particular wishes of the driver or passengers.  This has been achieved for the Golf R, and all models in the Golf range from SE upwards can be specified with an Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC) system.  Here not only can the suspension’s damping characteristics be controlled at the touch of a button, but the electro-mechanical power steering and accelerator response are also modified at the same time.

ACC functions via a set of four electrically adjustable dampers operated through pneumatic valves.  Each damper is fitted with characteristic map control, a gateway control module that serves as an interface with the CAN data networks in the Golf R – these comprise three sensors for measuring wheel displacement, three sensors for measuring movements of the body structure and a control module for the damping. 

These sensors constantly (up to 1,000 times per second) measure the vehicle’s behaviour – be it under braking, acceleration or cornering – and react almost instantaneously to ensure the optimum mix of chassis agility and comfort at all times.  The vehicle defaults to ‘Normal’ mode in which the system strikes a balance for general use.  Should the driver select ‘Sport’ mode the steering assistance is reduced, the damping is hardened and the throttle responses are sharpened as the mapping changes.  This is intended for either twisty roads or track driving.  In ‘Comfort’ the damping is softened and the steering assistance is increased to provide a smooth and controlled ride best suited to motorway driving.

In the case of the Golf R the system has been modified to provide a unique range of settings, each slightly firmer than those featured on the conventional system and developed to match the Golf R’s performance.

Hill hold function
All Golf models feature a hill hold function as standard.  The system is useful when the car stops for short periods (such as in heavy town traffic).  The parking brake now comes on automatically whenever the vehicle is brought to rest on the footbrake preventing the car from rolling forwards or backwards.  The brake is released as soon as the accelerator is pressed.  This function comes into its own when crawling along in heavy traffic on long inclines.

EQUIPMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Sitting at the top of the Golf range, the Golf R has the following equipment highlights:

  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist)
  • 4MOTION four-wheel drive
  • unique sports suspension lowered by 25 mm
  • revised ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) including EDL (Electronic Differential Lock) and ASR (Traction Control); hill hold function
  • driver’s and front passenger’s airbags (passenger’s airbag deactivation switch)
  • curtain airbag system, front and rear
  • front seat side impact airbags, driver’s knee airbag
  • driver’s and front passenger’s whiplash-optimised head restraints
  • three rear three-point seatbelts and head restraints
  • warning buzzer and light for front seatbelts if unfastened
  • Isofix child seat preparation (for two rear child seats)
  • electronic engine immobiliser; alarm with interior protection
  • remote central locking with two remote folding keys
  • front ‘R’ sport seats finished in ‘Kyalami’ cloth
  • easy entry sliding seats (for access to rear seats – three-door only)
  • height and reach adjustable steering wheel
  • split folding rear seat backrest 60:40
  • front and rear (5dr only) electric windows
  • multifunction computer; multifunction ‘R’ steering wheel with (DSG only) paddle shift
  • MDI (Multi Device Interface) with USB and iPod connection cables
  • RCD 310 radio/MP3 compatible CD player with eight speakers and AUX-in socket for connection to external multimedia source (e.g. iPod and MP3 player)
  • 2Zone electronic climate control
  • illuminated, cooled and lockable glovebox
  • front centre armrest with storage compartment; front seat back storage pockets
  • luggage compartment storage box; load-through provision
  • four load lashing points and 12V socket in luggage compartment
  • body-coloured bumpers, door handles and electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors with integrated indicators
  • LED daytime running lights; bi-xenon headlights with dynamic curve lighting
  • gloss black radiator grille with ‘R’ badge
  • twin central exhaust tailpipes; high intensity LED rear light units
  • rear tinted windows from B-pillar back
  • R styling pack: uniquely shaped front and rear bumpers with gloss black highlights, R badging; rear roof spoiler
  • extended sill strips, body colour
  • 7.5Jx18 ‘Talladega’ alloy wheels with 225/40 R18 tyres and anti-theft bolts
  • steel space saver spare wheel
  • automatic coming and leaving home lighting function plus dusk sensor
  • rain sensor and automatic dimming interior rear-view mirror  
  • ‘Silver Lane’ decorative inserts in dash and door panels
  • chrome trim on electric window and door mirror switches
  • ‘R’ gear lever knob, ‘R’ kick plates
  • leather-trimmed three-spoke steering wheel with R logo and gloss black highlights
  • aluminium-look pedals
  • carpet mats front and rear

FACTORY-FIT OPTIONS

A number of factory- and retailer-fit options are available on the new Golf R models, allowing buyers to customise their vehicles further.  These include 19-inch alloy wheels, ACC (Adaptive Chassis Control), cruise control, DAB compatible digital radio, parking assistance systems, satellite navigation and leather Recaro bucket seats.  For full details on option availability please see the latest price list.  

Rear-view camera
This is located behind the rear badge – so the lens is always clean – and transmits a real-time, distortion-free image of what is behind the car to the screen in the central display.  This allows the driver to see and recognise obstacles behind the car, and manoeuvre into the tightest parking spaces.  While moving, the screen marks out the car’s steering movements with coloured orientation lines.  This facility can also be extremely useful when hooking up to a tow hitch. 

DVD touchscreen navigation/radio system
Volkswagen’s latest touchscreen DVD navigation and entertainment system is offered on the Golf R.  The installation uses a touchscreen for fast, intuitive operation of the entertainment and navigation menus and displaying of information.  

With this system, as well as playing CDs in the usual manner, favourite tracks can also be stored onto the internal, 30 GB hard-drive via an SD card slot in the front of the unit.  The system can also be used to play DVDs when the car is stationary.  The hard-drive can also be used to store navigation mapping, freeing up the CD/DVD drive.  In addition routes can be recorded while driving and then re-traced by following guidance provided by the stored waypoints.  This can be particularly useful in off-road situations and regions for which digital mapping does not exist.   

For the navigation to function, rear ABS wheel sensors are used to determine the distance the car has covered and to provide information when the car is turning.  Further system components include a solid state magnetic compass concealed under the roof and a three-way roof aerial for radio and GPS (Global Positioning System).  The aerial receives signals from the satellites in orbit from which the system is able to calculate the position of the car on the surface of the earth.

Dynaudio sound system
A 300 watt premium entertainment system from Danish hi-fi specialist Dynaudio provides exceptional sound quality especially compared with other systems in this market sector.  The eight-channel system delivering up to a true 300 watts RMS without unwanted vibrations in the vehicle structure sets a new standard in this class. 

SAFETY AND SECURITY

The Golf brand has always been synonymous with safety, and in designing the sixth generation, developers were set the task of making this car the safest Golf yet.

That’s why the Golf is being offered with a seamless package of standard safety features.  On the passive side, there is a further perfected safety body (including additional reinforcement in the door area and optimised pedestrian protection), seven airbags including a knee airbag on the driver’s side and a patented head restraint system for driver and front passenger (WOKS).  The Golf was the first Volkswagen to have a rear ‘belt-up request’ system; this is included when a customer specifies the option of rear side airbags.  Furthermore, a new sensor concept for crash detection is was also introduced on the new Golf.  Naturally the Golf R has the same level of safety features as its standard Golf counterparts.

New sensor concept for crash detection
The sixth generation of Golf is equipped with a new sensor concept for detecting crash intensity and correspondingly influencing airbag ignition.  This involves the electronics, which are located centrally in the passenger compartment, evaluating the ‘felt’ low-frequency deceleration signals.  At the same time, specially tuned accelerometers measure the frequency components in the mid or ‘audible’ range.  These signal components are generated as a body wave when load-bearing structures in the front car area rapidly deform.  They propagate at high speed throughout the vehicle structure and supply precise and quickly available information about the severity of the crash.

By intelligently linking ‘felt’ and ‘audible’ signal components, it is possible to obtain a faster and at the same time more reliable impression of the crash from the airbag sensors.  That enables better adaptation of airbags and seatbelt tensioners to the crash situation, to protect passengers in the most appropriate way.  The Golf’s sensor system was awarded the Bavarian Innovation Prize in Germany.

Knee airbag
Standard equipment on the Golf includes two front airbags, two side airbags and two head airbags.  For the first time, the Golf also has a knee airbag system on the driver’s side.  The special mounting location of the knee airbag – beneath the knee impact area on the instrument panel – ensures that there is no contact between the airbag door and the lower leg.

In the event of a crash the airbag deploys in front of the driver’s knees in less than 20 milliseconds and absorbs – in conjunction with the seatbelt and front airbag – a significant share of the crash energy.  The driver is integrated into the vehicle’s deceleration early via the thighs and pelvis, and the steering wheel airbag cushions the driver’s chest and head at the optimal angle in the resulting, gently introduced upper body movement.

In general, the knee airbag protects the driver’s legs from a hard collision with the steering column and instrument panel.  In an offset impact, the feet are also better protected against lateral ankle twist.

Front, side and head airbags
The driver and front passenger airbags together with the knee airbag and seatbelt system, form a precisely co-ordinated front restraint system on the Golf.  As on previous generation models, the side airbags are still integrated in the seatbacks of the front seats, which ensures they are always in the best position to protect the driver and front passenger.  These protect the chest, abdomen and pelvis and have been optimally tuned to the car’s more rigid lateral structure.  The same is true of the optional rear side airbags in the five-door version.

Furthermore, Volkswagen has introduced standard head airbags that help to prevent high biomechanical loads on the head.  Specifically, these airbags cover the side window area from the A- to the C-pillar and from the roofliner to the door window sill.  This means maximum protection at all seating positions regardless of body size because protection over a large area prevents the head and extremities from swinging out and prevents objects from penetrating the car’s interior.  Due to the long holding time of the head airbags, they remain largely effective even in secondary collisions such as those occurring in the event of a rollover.

Whiplash Optimised Head Restraint System: WOKS
Injuries caused by hyperextensions of the cervical spine – or whiplash – are extremely common following car accidents.  Volkswagen has developed WOKS – its Whiplash Optimised Head Restraint System – to counteract whiplash injuries by co-ordinating the movements of the head and upper body as synchronously as possible via the seatbacks and head restraints.  The latest generation of WOKS is implemented as standard on the Golf.

To reduce the risk of injury, excellent protection is afforded by achieving defined deceleration velocity of the upper body via the seatback, co-ordinated deceleration of the head via the head restraint, and balanced motions of head and upper body.  Key to this are the special contour of the head restraints and seatbacks as well as the hardness of the foam material used here.  The contoured shape of the head restraints is being patented by Volkswagen.  On related studies, WOKS has demonstrated a level of protective potential that is substantially better than the biomechanical values attained by many active systems.

New seatbelt fastening detection for the rear
Another highlight in the Golf is the seatbelt fastening detection system for rear passengers.  This function is standard when optional side airbags and belt tensioners are ordered for the outer rear seat positions.  Thanks to this warning system, the driver can tell whether occupants are buckled up in the rear when starting the car and during the drive.

After switching on the ignition, the driver is informed via the multifunctional display for 30 seconds whether occupants are buckled up in the rear.  If a seatbelt is fastened, a relevant symbol is shown (buckled person) for the specific seat location; an unfastened seatbelt is also displayed (empty seat).  While driving, if the rear seatbelts are unfastened at a vehicle speed greater than 25 km/h (approx 15 mph), the seatbelt indicator flashes for 30 seconds (displayed symbol alternates between empty seat and buckled person); an acoustic signal is also heard.

Euro NCAP test results
The sixth generation Golf was tested ahead of launch by the Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) crash test agency.

It achieved 36 out of a possible 37 points for occupant protection leading to a five-star award.  In the area of child safety the Golf scored four stars; a further three stars were awarded for pedestrian safety.  It was later declared by Euro NCAP to be the safest car of 2009.

Insurance group
Thanks to its comprehensive safety and security features, the Golf R has an ABI (Association of British Insurers) insurance rating of 36E.  This is based on the post-December 2009 new ratings system of 1 to 50 rather than the previously used 1 to 20.

WARRANTIES

All Golf models have a three year (first and second year manufacturer operated, third year retailer operated) / 60,000 mile mechanical warranty.  In addition, they come with a 12 year body protection guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance which includes European breakdown cover.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

Latest press kits

IMAGES

VIDEOS