Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Extremes of the VW Golf Range Show Up in Detroit: e-Golf and Golf R

Neither the VW e-Golf nor the Golf R are fresh news in Europe, as both had their world debuts at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show. However, their U.S. debut is taking place at the Detroit Motor Show, which is why we decided to revisit them for a recap.

Going on sale in select states in the fourth quarter of 2014, the e-Golf is VW’s first fully electric vehicle for the U.S. Available in five-door form only and fitted with all-LED headlights, the e-Golf is powered by a 115-horsepower electric motor which delivers 199 lb-ft (269 Nm) of torque, allowing the EV to reach 25 mph (40 km/h) from rest in 4.2 seconds and to get to 62 mph (100 km/h) in approximately 10.4 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 87 mph (140 km/h).

Average driving range for the VW e-Golf is between 70 and 90 miles (116-146 km). The 24.2 kWh lithium-ion battery can be fully charged in less than four hours using the available 220-volt wall box for a garage or carport. However, at a 110/120-volt electrical socket it will take around 20 hours to charge the battery. There’s also the option of fast charging using the standard Combined Charging System (CCS) plug – it takes around 30 minutes for to charge the battery to 80 percent of its capacity.

As for the Golf R, it’s the most powerful Golf ever to be sold in the United States (albeit sporting 6 hp less than the Euro-spec model), with 290 hp and 280 lb-ft (391 Nm) from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The Mk7-based Golf R covers 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.

The VW Golf R will be launched in the U.S. in the first-quarter of 2015 in four-door form only – which makes VW’s decision to display a two-door model in Detroit rather curious.

By Dan Mihalascu


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