If there ever was a Golf that could double as a secret agent, the Golf R surely is the lead candidate.

From a distance it looks for all the world like a mild-mannered, handsome but largely innocuous five-door hatch with a subtle bodykit and nice rims… but get a little closer and you'll see the reality is anything but.

VW has lightly tweaked the potent R in line with the Golf's mid-life Mk 7.5 update, but has largely left the important stuff alone. This is a good thing – that stuff is still as good as it gets.