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LA show: Volkswagen unveils wild wagon

Get a load of this: VW’s Golf R Wagon employs the same 221kW turbo engine and all-wheel drive system as the famed R hatch.

Australia likely to get new VW’s 221kW Golf R Wagon for families in a hurry

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Volkswagen logo19 Nov 2014

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia (VGA) has put up its hand for the German company’s new loco load lugger, the Golf R Wagon.

Unveiled at this week’s Los Angeles motor show, the blistering 221kW five-door all-wheel-drive Golf R will arrive in European showrooms in mid-2015, meaning a possible late-2015 arrival in Australia.

VGA general manager communications Karl Gehling told GoAuto the Golf R Wagon had a lot of potential for Australia.

“It would be a good fit for us,” he said. “We have certainly indicated our interest in it.”

Mr Gehling said it was too early to say when the vehicle would arrive, assuming it is approved for this market.

The first Golf Wagon to receive the R treatment gets the same 2.0-litre turbocharged TSI petrol powertrain as the latest Golf R hatch that was launched in Australia in April.

As GoAuto reported in September, the R-rated wagon was mooted by Volkswagen Group head of powertrain development Heinz-Jakob Neusser who said such a variant would build on the unparalleled success of the latest Golf R on global markets.

By adding an R variant to the Golf Wagon range, VW has skipped a GTI variant, going straight to the top of the Golf high-performance tree.

It effectively doubles the peak power of the current most Golf Wagon on sale in Australia, the 2.0 TDI that employs a 110kW/320Nm 2.0-litre TDI turbo-diesel engine, driving the front wheels via a six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission.

Like the R hatch, the five-seat R Wagon will include permanent all-wheel drive to ensure the 221kW of power and 380Nm of torque is delivered to the tarmac with maximum effect.

While the hatch offers a choice of manual or dual-clutch automatic transmissions, the only transmission for the R wagon will be the six-speed dual clutch automatic, helping the wagon to sprint from zero to 100km/h in 5.1 seconds – 0.1 seconds slower than the auto Golf R hatch.

Being a wagon, the R Wagon wins out on cargo versatility, offering 605 litres of luggage space with the back seat up, and 1620 litres with the seat folded.

Fuel economy is a claimed 7.0 litres per 100km on the European test scale, compared with 6.9L/100km for the auto hatch.

The wagon adopts the same R design styling signatures as the hatch, at least at the front. At the back, the wagon gets its own bumper design, high-gloss black diffuser, four chrome-plated tailpipe trims, ‘aero flaps’ on the D-pillars, cherry-red taillights and LED number plate illumination.

The body rides 20mm lower than the standard Golf Wagon, sitting on a sports chassis that includes a progressive steering system and an ESC Sport mode. An adaptive chassis control system with race mode is optional.

So far this year, VW Golf sales are up more than 20 per cent in Australia, finding 16,157 new homes to the end of October.

For the first time this year, it has outsold the locally assembled Holden Cruze, making it the fourth best-selling small car on the market behind the Toyota Corolla (36,925), Mazda3 (36,011) and Hyundai Elantra (25,791).

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