Following the world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September last year, the U.S. premiere of the VW Golf R will take place at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show.
Producing an estimated 290 horsepower (some 6 hp less than the Euro-spec model rated at 296hp or 300 PS), the new Golf R has 34 hp more than the previous version, which was sold as a 2013 model. The engine produces 280 lb-ft (391 Nm) available between 1,800 to 5,500 rpm
Naturally, it is faster too, covering the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint in 5.3 seconds with the six-speed manual (0.4 seconds quicker than the old car). When fitted with the six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox, the Golf R completes the sprint in 4.9 seconds.
Despite being more powerful, the Golf Mk7-based Golf R is also significantly more economical. On the European cycle, the car gets a combined figure of 33 mpg US (7.1 l/100 km) with the manual gearbox, up from 28 mpg US (8.4 l/100 km).
Just like its predecessors, the new Golf R features a 4Motion all-wheel-drive system, this time with a fifth-generation Haldex coupling. There’s also a new sport suspension, progressive steering and a stability control system (ESC Sport) that can be deactivated for track driving. VW also offers the DCC dynamic chassis control system as an option.
As its European brother, the U.S.-spec Golf R features specially designed bumpers, side skirts, 18-inch alloy wheels, standard Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs and four chrome exhaust tips, among other upgrades. Inside the Golf R gains sport seats with leather seating surfaces, leather-wrapped three-spoke sport steering wheel and R-specific instrumentation.
The VW Golf R will be launched in the U.S. in the first-quarter of 2015 in four-door form only.
By Dan Mihalascu