Being a fan of hot hatches, I have been looking forward to that little one for quite some time now. The R is back with some pretty impressive figures. Starting with the engine obviously. The all-wheel drive Golf now has 296hp, compared to the 267hp of the Golf 6 R. The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine sends all of its 300 ponies to the all-wheel drive system (With a clever XDS+ electronic diff lock on both axles) through a six-speed DSG allowing it to burn the 0-100km/h in just 4.9sec. That is M135i performance! Even though, the R is still far behind the performance of the A45 AMG and its 360hp. (Check the full review of the A45AMG by clicking here). Other than that, for the first time since the Mk5 Golf, the ESC has a Race setting, which allows you to turn the stability control completely off. There’s a new ‘progressive steering’, which is more responsive and an optional Dynamic Chassis Control to switch between Comfort, Normal and Sport modes.
The new R is 5 mm lower than the new MK7 GTI and sits on 18 inch alloy wheels which look pretty beast in the EVO Frankfurt review here attached (You are welcome EVO). The pair of centrally mounted exhausts has been dumbed for a twin-oval chrome-tipped versions at each side of the car remind us of Audi’s S models. Hope that change won’t affect the exhaust note negatively. The Tail lights are smoked, like on every R model. All in all, even though looking at the first snapshots, I didn’t really like the new MK7 design, seeing the car in live made me change my mind. It is a great update over the MK6. The rear tail lights look really good specially at night. The interior is neat, clear and tidy as usual. With the price of the MK7 GTI at around 50,000$ in Lebanon, the R is expected to be launched with a starting price at around 65,000$ which is quite expensive for a hatch. But when you consider that an A250 with its front wheel drive, 210hp engine costs approximately the same price, the R suddenly becomes a bargain! Just wish I could put my hands on one of these ASAP and be the “lucky one” like in the new commercial attached below.
For those of you who missed it, this is the commercial of the VW Golf GTI VI 35 anniversary edition. This special edition of the already amazing GTI has still the standard 2.0 liters V4 turbocharged engine but the German engineers were able to squeeze out of it 235hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. This is an augmentation of almost 10% compared to the stock GTI’s power. Not a crazy increase but it is nice to have. The 35 edition has several limited edition “35” badges here and there like on the door sill plates, the steering wheel and seats. This limited edition features a “half golf ball” as a gearlever that pays homage to the stickshift of the original 1976 GTI. This commercial that was released for the launching of the 35 edition GTI is just stunning. The driving sensations the car delivers are so well advertised and represented. This is one gorgeous car commercial just pure car/human interaction. I am still waiting patiently to see how the new special edition GTI VII will look like. Knowing that the stock GTI VII can be bought with a special racing package delivering 230hp, a special edition version will have at least 30 additional hp. Looking forward.
The new 2012 Passat features a 2.5L in-line 5 cylinder engine which delivers 170hp. Personally I prefer the 2009 version of the Passat I think its prettier. The CC has a very nice look. I am not a big fan of the new face lift of this new model.
I already mentioned the 2012 Passat when it was first introduced with the “The Force” commercial featuring Darth Vader. Contrary to the Darth Vader superbowl ad, I find that this commercial is trying to prove something, that this car is safe. The Passat presents most of its safety features as standards. Which is nothing special when we are talking about VW. I like the simple and original was in which the “safety” aspect of the car is presented.