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VW Golf R and GTD here mid-year

Say R: Volkswagen's AWD Golf R is down on power compared with its Euro counterpart, but still manages 188kW.

Volkswagen’s lower-output Golf R and diesel GTD just months away from Australia

Volkswagen logo23 Feb 2010

By MARTON PETTENDY

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia hopes to hold a simultaneous launch of the piping-hot new Golf R hot-hatch and diesel-powered Golf GTD in the middle of 2010.

Depending on shipping, Australia’s first diesel performance version of the Golf will arrive earlier than expected, following local confirmation of the GTD’s release earlier this month.

Like the GTD, the Golf R could also be a five-door-only proposition in Australia, despite the fact VGA has received federal Australian Design Rule certification for both the three-door and five-door derivatives of its newest R model.

“The three-door represents quite a small proportion of (potential) sales for us, so we’re looking at consolidating the line up,” said VGA spokesman Karl Gehling. “At this stage we’re looking only at the five-door.” The move would be in contrast with the previous-generation Golf R32, which was available in both three and five-door body styles, priced from $54,990 for the three-door manual, until it was discontinued in March 2008.

Bookending the Golf GTI in terms of price, the Golf R and GTD will follow Australia’s first Golf wagon, which was released here this month.

3 center imageMr Gehling confirmed Australia would follow the rest of the world with Volkswagen’s naming convention for the hottest new Golf, which eschews V6 power for a more powerful but more efficient and lighter turbocharged inline four.

“The whole reason it’s gone to ‘Golf R’ is that it doesn’t make sense to have a successor with a smaller number,” he said.

Although manual and automated manual transmission options will accompany it, the all-wheel drive Golf R will also be trimmed in the all-important area of performance, with peak power output to be limited to 188kW (down from 199kW in Europe) because VW officially classifies Australia as a hot-weather climate.

“Unfortunately, the Golf R comes under the ‘hot country’ restriction we have, which also impacts the Bluemotion (version of the Golf),” said Mr Gehling.

In terms of peak power output, that will put Australia’s Golf R just 4kW ahead of the petrol 3.2-litre V6-powered R32 it replaces.

While the flagship of the MkV Golf range produced 184kW and 320Nm of torque, Volkswagen’s high-performance direct-injection EA113 2.0-litre TSI four-cylinder petrol engine will come with 188kW in Australia’s MkVI Golf R, but should still echo the European model with 350Nm of torque.

Either way, that’s a significant increase on the latest Golf GTI’s all-new 155kW EA888 engine, which unlike the Haldex part-time AWD system underneath the Golf R32 and (in modified form) the new Golf R, drives only the GTI’s front wheels.

As reported, both models ride on a 2574mm wheelbase with 153mm of ground clearance and measure 4212mm long, 1785mm wide and 1461mm high.

According to Federal Office of Road Safety documents, both three and five-door versions of the ADR-homologated Golf R have five seats, a tare mass of 1476kg (20kg extra in DSG guise) and 18x7.5-inch alloy wheels with 225/40 R18 tyres. Eight-inch-wide 18-inch and 19-inch wheels will also be available here.

Other unique Golf R features will include bi-Xenon headlights, a black grille and wing mirrors, new front and rear bumpers, a gloss-black rear diffuser with twin central exhaust outlets, flared wheel-arches, aluminium ‘R’ scuff plates, blue-needled instruments, gloss-black detailing throughout and sports seats with Alcantara/black mesh cloth trim.

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