The 2015 Volkswagen Golf R is based on the seventh generation Golf, and is the German automaker?s latest performance icon. It is bigger, lighter and more spacious than the previous Golf R. This latest iteration Golf R is the performance halo vehicle for Volkswagen. The legacy began when the Golf R32 went on sale in the U.S. as a 2004 model and limited editions of 5,000 vehicles based on Golf Mark 4 and 5 were sold. All Golf R32s were powered by a naturally aspirated 3.2-liter VR6 (EA 390) engine and featured the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. The first Golf R based on Golf Mark 6 with a 2.0-liter TSI (EA 113) engine went on?sale as a 2012 model in the U.S., and in 2012 and 2013, Volkswagen sold
5,500 Golf Rs in the U.S., 500 more than the original allocation.
Highlights for the 2015 Volkswagen Golf R include an Increase of 36 horsepower to 292 hp, but with a three mpg better highway fuel economy. The EA 888 2.0-liter TSI engine that replaces the previous EA 113 engine, now generates 280 pound-feet of torque – an increase from 243 lb-ft. The 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system has been revised. The new Golf R will be available only in a four-door configuration and will initially come only with a DSG automatic transmission. A manual gearbox will follow in model year 2016. The 2015 Volkswagen Golf R is the fastest Golf ever, accelerating from 0-60 mph in less than 5.0 seconds. Chief competitors for the Golf R will be BMW?s M235i, Mercedes-Benz?s CLA45 AMG and the Subaru Impreza WRX STi.
As with the VW GTI, the Golf R draws its design inspiration from the original Mark 1 and Mark 4 models, with the MQB platform providing more dramatic proportions, with a shorter front overhang, a longer hood, a lower roof and wider front track when compared to Golf R Mark 6 displaying a more athletic persona. Standard Bi-Xenon headlights featuring Ushaped LED Daytime Running Lights, badging, front and rear bumpers, and the distinctive four (split dual) exhaust tips differentiate the Golf R from GTI models. The Golf R displays an understated yet bold and athletic image. Special components were developed by Volkswagen R GmbH including the bumpers, side skirts, rear diffuser, dual chrome exhaust tips per side, unique headlights, black painted mirror caps, and the aluminum-alloy wheels.
The new front bumper design features large air intakes, a modified radiator grille that sports the ?R? logo, and new daytime running lights integrated into the Bi-Xenon headlight housings. The headlights include LED turn signals and LED daytime running lights that form a unique dual ?U? design beneath the headlights.
In profile, the Golf R is characterized by newly designed standard 18- or available 19-inch ?Cadiz? aluminum-alloy wheels shod with 225/40 or 235/35 performance summer tires, black brake calipers with the ?R? logo, body-color ?R? style side skirts, ?R? badges on the front fenders, and black painted door mirror caps. Rear-end details that define the new Golf R include an ?R? design diffuser, the four chrome tailpipes, and an ?R? logo on the hatch.
The new Volkswagen Golf R features a longer wheelbase (103.6-inches), is longer overall (168.4-inches), and wider (70.5-inches). There?s more shoulder room front and rear (57.8-inches / 56.7-inches), front leg room remains the same (41.2-inches), while rear leg room increases (35.6-inches). The new curb weight is 42 pounds less (3,283-lbs.)
Moving to the inside, the interior ambience and purposeful execution showcase the R?s intended mission ? driving enjoyment, with front sport seats with leather seating surfaces and leather wrapping for the upper and lower grip zones of the three-spoke steering wheel. The Dash and door trim panels feature a ?Carbon Touch? design. Pedals, foot support (dead pedal) and shift knob receive an aluminum alloy finish complemented by Piano Black trim panel accents. The Golf R is loaded with the latest in connectivity and entertainment technology.
Standard features for the Golf R, which will start at $36,595 with the DSG transmission include: 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; leather seating surfaces; automatic climate control; heatable front seats; Driving Mode Selection; a power driver?s seat; and LED Daytime Running Lights.
Premium features for the Golf R with DCC and Navigation, which starts at $39,00 with the DSG gearbox will include: 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; Navigation system; Front and rear Park Distance Control; DCC adaptive damping system; and Fender Premium Audio System.
Chassis and suspension highlights include: Variable-ratio electric power steering; strut-type front suspension, multi-link rear; a lowered ride height by 0.8 inches compared with regular Golf models; 13.4-inch front and 12.2-inch rear vented brake discs ? larger than base Golf GTI brakes; an ESC Sport setting for the stability control system, with a ?Race? mode that switches the system completely off for track driving.
The latest 4MOTION system features fifth-generation Haldex coupling for faster response, with electronic differential locks acting laterally as a function of the stability control system. The XDS+ cross differential system operates like a limited-slip differential for optimal torque distribution while also compensating for understeer during faster cornering.
New safety features include as standard: VW?s Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which applies the brakes to stop secondary impacts in a collision; and Bi-Xenon headlights with Adaptive Front lighting System.
During the national press introduction, I piloted a 2015 Volkswagen Golf R with DCC and Navigation. It sported a Lapiz Blue metallic exterior finish and a Titan Black leather interior. The base sticker was set at $39,090 with the final total ringing up at $ 39,910. after adding the Destination charge.
SUMMARY:?The 2015 Golf R when equipped with DCC and Navigation is not inexpensive, and can top the $40,000 mark. But so equipped, it falls into what is nearly a race ready category, sans roll bar.
As the fastest Golf R ever produced, it is a hoot to drive. It is not only quick and responsive in the acceleration department, the steering response is equally impressive, making handling a joy. The ride quality is firm, yet complaint, rendering a planted and stable performance.
The low stance adds to the R?s sporting persona and it is clearly one winning ?Hot Hatch? that?s sure to bring a steady stream of broad grins to those who are fortunate enough to own one.
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?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2015 Volkswagen Golf R – DCC & Navigation [/wptabtitle]
|Price as Tested:||$39,910.|
|Engine Type and Size:||2.0-liter DOHC, 16-valve, turbocharged/intercooled TSI four-cylinder.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||292 @ 5,400 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||280 @ 1,800 rpm|
|Transmission:||Six-speed DSG automatic with paddle shifters.|
|Drive Train:||Transversely mounted front engine / 4Motion permanent all-wheel-drive system with Haldex® center differential.|
Adaptive Sport suspension with 4 mode Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC)
Front – Strut-type with lower control arms, coil springs, telescopic dampers and anti-roll bar.
Rear – Multilink with coil springs, telescopic dampers and anti-roll bar.
|Brakes:||Power assisted, dual circuit, four-wheel vented discs with three-channel ABS, EBD, and ESC.|
|Tires:||Bridgestone Potenza 235/35 R19 summer, mounted on 5-spoke alloy wheels with machined face and painted inners for triple-spoke effect.|
|Length Overall:||168.4 inches|
|Curb Weight:||3,340 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||14.5 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||23 mpg city / 30 mpg hwy|
|0 – 60 mph:||4.9 seconds|
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.