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VW Golf R three-door for Oz

Think again: Volkswagen is set to introduce the three-door Golf R alongside the five-door model.

Three-door version of VW’s new Golf R hot-hatch will come Down Under after all

Volkswagen logo9 Apr 2010

By MARTON PETTENDY

VOLKSWAGEN has confirmed the sharper three-door version of its upcoming Golf R hot-hatch will be made available in Australia after all.

After originally deciding to release only the Golf R five-door, Volkswagen Group Australia has announced via its Facebook web page that the three-door will also go on sale from June, when the five-door-only Golf GTD sports-diesel also arrives.

VGA says its change of heart, which ensures the two-bodystyle tradition of the current Golf R32 will continue in Australia, comes as a direct result of customer and dealer demand for the rear-door-less Golf R.

“The plan was to offer only the five-door Golf R in Australia,” said Volkswagen spokesman Karl Gehling. “But there has been some quite considerable interest in the three-door across the aboard and in response to requests from customers and dealers we’ve decided to also release the three-door.”

As we’ve reported, VGA has received federal design certification for both derivatives of the Golf R, both of which will come with a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 188kW at 6000rpm – down from the European version’s 199kW because Australia’s designation as a hot-weather market.

That will make the Golf R just 4kW more powerful than the 184kW/320Nm 3.2-litre V6 in Volkswagen's outgoing Golf flagship, the R32, which remains available in both three and five-door guise for a respective $55,490 and $56,990.

With the same 350Nm torque peak expected from Volkswagen’s high-performance direct-injection EA113 2.0-litre TSI turbo four-cylinder petrol engine here as in Europe, however, the Golf R should easily out-muscle both the heavier R32 and VW’s latest front-drive Golf GTI, which employs an all-new 155kW/280Nm EA888 turbo-petrol engine.

3 center image From top: Volkswagen Golf R 3-door. Below: Golf GTD.

Revealed globally at last September’s Frankfurt motor show, the Golf R drives through a revised version of the R32’s part-time Haldex 4motion all-wheel drive system and is claimed to sprint to 100km/h in 5.5 seconds as a manual and 5.7 seconds in six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic form.

Both compact all-wheel-drive Golf R models have a kerb weight of 1476kg in six-speed manual transmission form (plus 20kg for the DSG version) and both ride on a 2574mm wheelbase and measure 4212mm long, 1785mm wide and 1461mm high.

Australian Golf Rs will come standard with 18x7.5-inch alloy wheels with 225/40 R18 tyres, though 8.0-inch-wide 18-inch and 19-inch wheels will also be available.

Borrowing a range of styling cues from the Scirocco R, which remains a long shot for release in Australia due to the Golf GTI’s popularity here, the R is the first Golf to feature factory-fitted LED tail-lights.

Other unique Golf R features will include bi-Xenon headlights, daytime running lights, 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.

Standard Golf R equipment will include six airbags, electronic stability/traction control, ABS brakes, air-conditioning, power windows/mirrors and remote central locking, with the options list at least including a sunroof.

Meantime, the GTD represents another addition to the Mk6 Golf hatch range, which was first released here in February 2009, before being joined by three- and five-door GTI models last October and Australia’s first Golf wagon in February.

As we’ve reported, VW’s first true diesel-powered performance Golf replaces the short-lived Golf V GT Sport TDI sold here from mid-2007 and comes with the same chassis tune as its front-drive petrol sibling, albeit powered by VW’s 125kW/350Nm 2.0-litre DOHC 16-valve common-rail turbo-diesel.

Available in both six-speed manual and (DSG) automatic forms, the GTD is good for claimed 0-100km/h acceleration in 8.1 seconds as a manual, which also has a top speed of 220km/h and averages fuel consumption of 5.3L/100km.

That’s far more frugal than the Golf GTI (7.3L/100km manual), which sprints to 100km/h much sooner in a claimed 6.9 seconds and is said to have a 240km/h top speed.

Like the GTI, the GTD runs 17-inch alloys with 225-section tyres and comes with GTI-look cosmetics, including the same headlights, grille and bumpers.

Expect VW’s ‘diesel GTI’ to be priced around the same as the Golf GTI, which is now available at a lower $38,990 (three-door) and $40,490 (five-door).

In other Volkswagen news, the Australian subsidiary will not import an updated, five-seat version of the Passat CC now on sale in Europe, with its front-drive 2.0 125TDI auto ($54,990) and AWD 3.6 V6 auto ($64,990) four-seat line-up to continue unchanged.

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