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Here’s how Volkswagen has made its powerful Golf R even mightier

The Golf has reinvented itself in many variations, but only one has been billed the ultimate: The Golf R. And it’s safe to say that Volkswagen really turned the thermostat up its hot hatch to become an extreme speed machine. 

Simply-put, the Golf R is a performance-hungry hatch. Horsepower hikes are significant, in equal parts to the torque and driving experience. Available in only the five door version locally, the Golf R is also heavily modified, with souped-up cylinder heads, exhaust valves and larger turbocharger then the regular versions. 

The GTI might get all the limelight, but the R has always been the one that’s styled with utmost restraint and class, even as it takes you from nought to 100kph in 4.6 seconds. Here’s how Volkswagen has made its most powerful hot hatch even better. 

Snazzier fascia

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The power-hungry Golf R gets a good number of upgrades this year.

As the more performance-driven brethren of the well-loved model, the R naturally gets a little nip and tuck that highlight its prowess. Besides a new front bumper, a tweaked grille, and heftier wheels, there are also more tailpipes and a glossy black exterior trim that accentuates the hot hatchback’s sporty design. Meatier sills and bigger air intakes complement the heightened masculinity of the car too. There are also rear LED lights with sweeping indicators now.

More performance-driven than ever

Haldex’s fifth-generation multi-plate clutch provides some of the best in-class handling. Compared to the GTI which is front-wheel drive only, the Haldex system will enable torque to be sent to all four wheels dependent on the driving condition.  The electronic stability control system connected to this can also be fully switched off for ultimate hot hatch thrills.

Swanky new seats

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New seat options include luxurious leather or sporty Alcantara.

The Golf R now has front sports seats with perforated leather, making the snippy new Golf R more supportive and comfortable for long rides. 

Updated infotainment

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The Golf R’s infotainment system is suitably more intelligent than the previous generation’s.

Debuting new designs and larger touchscreens, the Golf R’s latest generation of infotainment system is presented via a crystal-clear, glass-fronted 9.2-inch Discover Pro infotainment system. This replaces the previous generation’s 8.0-inch screen. A fully digitised 12.3-inch Active Info Display is also standard on the Golf R, feeding you navigation maps, driving information, and essentially everything you’ll need to know about your ride.

More power (obviously)

Fortified with a higher power output of 286hp — close to 10 more than the previous generation — the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinders within are known to be the most agile powerhouses in the segment. This is mated to the same permanent all-wheel drive system, and an all-new 7-speed DSG gearbox, which replaces the previous 6-speed DSG gearbox. 


Shatricia Nair
Managing Editor
Shatricia Nair is a motoring, watches, and wellness writer who is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, tourbillons, and the latest fitness trends. She is fuelled by peanut butter and three cups of coffee a day.