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.