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VW outs hotter Golf R wagon

Golf Mk8 range extends with 235kW R wagon, on the cards for Australia early 2022

13 Jul 2021

THE most satisfying way to move a heap of gear to 100km/h in the shortest possible time is returning to a Volkswagen dealership near you early next year with the launch of the Mk8 version of the Golf R wagon.


Arguably the hottest long-roof small car on the market – given only Peugeot’s 308 and the Ford Focus wagon remain as rivals since Renault’s Megane and Subaru’s Levorg finished – returns with a whopping 611 litres of cargo room and will pack up to 235kW/420Nm when it arrives.


In the meantime, Volkswagen Australia has confirmed the return of its larger Passat 206TSI R-Line wagon following delays related to WLTP compliance testing, sharing the outgoing Golf R wagon’s engine – albeit in lower-output 206kW/350Nm tune – and exclusive Lapiz Blue hero colour option.


The new Shooting Brake version of Volkswagen’s Arteon passenger car flagship will also have the 206TSI R-Line package option when it arrives in the fourth quarter.


Although the new Golf R wagon’s outputs are not yet confirmed for the Australian market, the quoted figures are considerably up on the outgoing version that developed 213kW and 380Nm.


The engine is a tweaked version of the EA888 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder that in 180kW/370Nm guise does duty under the bonnet of Volkswagen’s latest Golf GTI.


It’s heated to 235kW in its expected trim for Australia – good for a claimed 0-100km/h sprint in 4.9 seconds – but there are already noises about a 245kW version.


Volkswagen has deliberately reeled in the launch of the Golf R to bring it alongside the release of two more performance versions, the Tiguan R medium SUV and the T-Roc R compact crossover.


Pricing and final specifications are yet to be announced – or even hinted at – but Golf prices hiked about $3500 when the Mk8 was launched, potentially giving the R wagon a landing price of about $62,000 plus on-road costs.


The R will get only a seven-speed dual-clutch (DSG) transmission, with the six-speed manual yet to be confirmed for this market.


There will also be a Performance Pack option that includes a “drift mode” and 19-inch (replacing standard 18-inch) alloys plus a 20km/h top speed extension to 270km/h.


But the best news is it carries over all the engine and chassis urge of the R hatchback that arrives in February, just before its wagon sibling.


The revamped MQB platform brings with it new tricks for the Mk8, including an improved 4Motion driveline that now has the ability to split torque between right- and left-side wheels, in addition to its standard crowd-pleasing artistry of moving torque between the front and rear axles.


It also has a torque-vectoring rear differential and stiffer suspension for a firmer ride.


Golf’s hot wagon sits on a longer 2686mm wheelbase, up 66mm on the Mk7, and is 66mm longer overall, contributing to the incoming variant’s 611-litre boot capacity that is up 22 litres on the old wagon, extending to 1642 litres with the rear seats folded. It’s roomier for second-row passengers as well.


Thanks to the R’s bespoke suspension tune, it sits 20mm lower than the regular Golf wagon.


Practical features extend to an electric tailgate, shopping hooks in the boot, luggage net and a 12-volt socket, and it comes with a braked towing capacity of 1900kg.


Externally, the R wagon is distinguished from other Golf wagons by its quad exhaust treatment, deeper side skirts and bolder bumper design.


Inside it is similar to other upmarket Mk8 variants with a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen and 10.25-inch driver display, plus sports seats in microfleece and fabric with R lettering on the integrated head restraints.


Safety equipment is highlighted by Volkswagen’s new IQ Drive that packages safety in a semi-autonomous design.


An overriding feature is its aim to ensure the vehicle remains in its lane, using monitors to aid the driver and warn and adjust to any discrepancies. IQ Drive uses an arsenal that includes eight airbags, AEB, adaptive cruise control, lane assist, driver fatigue warning and rear cross-traffic alert.


It will also help the driver in parking, lane changing and accident prevention. The wagon has already received a five-star crash rating from EuroNCAP.


Volkswagen has sold only 585 Golfs this year as it finishes its Mk7.5 run and cranks up the new Mk8.

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29th of April 2021

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