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2014 VW Golf R | new car sales price

Australian versions of the new Golf R use a 206kW/380Nm version of the EA888 2.0-litre turbocharged engine.

galleryVolkswagen has crowned its Australian small hatch lineup with the new Golf R performance flagship; the fourth-generation Golf to wear the R badge.

Building on the Mk4 and Mk5 R32 models and the Mk6 Golf R, the new model continues as the quickest Golf in the lineup, and the only version to come with all-wheel drive. 

Priced at $51,990 with a six-speed manual and $54,490 with a six-speed DSG dual-clutch auto, both versions represent a $2000 increase over the previous Mk6 Golf R. 

Australian versions of the new Golf R use a 206kW/380Nm version of the EA888 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, representing an 18kW/30Nm over the previous Australian Mk6 Golf R, but detuned from the European-spec 221kW/380Nm to suit the Australian climate.

Australian Golf R buyers will have to settle for the DSG version until the third quarter of the year though, with the manual delayed due to European demand for the self-shifter.

A maximum torque band of 1800-5100rpm is retained from the European-spec, and 0-100km/h acceleration has dropped to 5.0 seconds with the six-speed DSG dual-clutch auto, and 5.2 seconds with the six-speed manual.

These figures may trail the Euro-spec’s 4.9/5.1 second times, but are a significant improvement on the previous Australian spec’s 5.7/5.9 second figures, the current GTI Performance’s 6.4 seconds, and the garden variety GTI’s 6.5 second claim.

Top speed is limited to 250km/h, and fuel consumption has dropped significantly from 8.7-7.3L/100km for the manual, and 7.1L/100km with the DSG auto. The new Golf R’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system uses a fifth-generation Haldex coupling, which sends power to the front wheels under normal conditions, and redirects to the rear when more traction is required.

In addition to the front-rear Haldex coupling, the Golf R uses a version of the standard GTI’s brake-actuated electronic diff lock system to distribute drive from side to side for the front and rear axles. The electronically controlled mechanical front differential found in the new GTI Performance is not fitted to the Golf R.

Brakes are a GTI Performance-matching 340mm up front and 310mm at the rear, with black ‘R’ labelled calipers, and the R’s specific suspension setup is 20mm lower than a standard Golf and 5mm lower than GTI. Adaptive dampers integrate with the DSG (where fitted) through five different driving modes; including Eco, Normal, Individual, Comfort and Race to vary the Golf R’s personality according to the driver’s mood or road conditions.

A scaled-back ESP Sport mode loosens the stability control’s electronic safety net, and the stability control can now be deactivated altogether with a button press of longer than three seconds. The Golf R is distinguished from the lesser Golf and GTI models with unique but subtly more aggressive front and rear bumpers and side skirts, matte chrome and gloss black detailing, standard Bi-Xenon headlights with unique LED indicators, tinted LED taillights, 19 inch ‘Cadiz’ alloys with 235/35 tyres and quad exhaust outlets.

On the inside, the Golf R’s matte aluminium detailing continues, with Alcantara/fabric leather trim on ‘R’ embossed sports seats, and specific instrumentation. Vienna leather trim is optional, but dual-zone climate control and a 5.8 inch multimedia screen with satnav are standard.


Watch the desktop version of the Volkswagen Golf R video review here.


This reporter is on Twitter: @Mal_Flynn

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