Wednesday, October 3, 2012

First Impression: Volkswagen Golf R

In 1974, Volkswagen started production on the first Volkswagen Golf, a small family car that was available as either a three-door hatchback, five-door hatchback, or convertible. In 1975, Volkswagen created a sports-variant of the Golf, called the Golf GTI. The Golf GTI was one of the first hot hatchbacks, hatchbacks that could serve as everyday cars and were competent on race tracks. The Golf has gone through six generation, with Volkswagen announcing that it will be making a seventh generation Golf on September 4, 2012. The fastest and most powerful version of the Golf Mk. 6 is the Volkswagen Golf R.

The Golf R is a regular at Houston Cars and Coffee events. The Golf R has a more sporty appearance than the standard Golf. The R has a slightly different grill than the Golf GTI and "R" badges replace the "GTI" badges. The main difference between the Golf R and the Golf GTI is that the Golf R has an upgraded engine.  The Golf R has a larger turbo, a larger intercooler, upgraded bearings, upgraded camshaft, and upgraded injectors.

The Golf R is powered by a turbocharged I4 engine, paired with a six-speed manual or an optional six-speed DSG transmission, that produces 256 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. The Golf R goes from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds and reaches a top speed of 155 mph. Prices for the 3-door hatchback start at $33,900 and prices for the 5-door hatchback start at $36,090. That is quite a bit of money for a Volkswagen Golf. The Golf R is $10,000 more, but the Golf R goes from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, whereas the Golf GTI takes 6.9 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph.

The Golf R has been featured on Fifth Gear, RTL Autowereld, and Motorweek. The Golf R is playable in Auto Club Revolution, Forza Motorsport 3, Forza Motorsport 4, Forza Horizon, Real Racing 2, Gran Turismo 5, and Simraceway.

Final Thoughts: The Golf was never a stylish car and the Golf R is no exception. There are better looking hatchbacks compared to the Golf R, but few hatchbacks can perform like the Golf R. For $34,000-$36,000, you are getting a good performing hot hatchback. This is a quick car. Hopefully, there will be a Golf R for the seventh generation Golf.

Photo was taken by a digital camera.
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