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Volkswagen Golf R 8.5 launched in Europe

More powerful Golf R arrives, now with 245kW from its revised two-litre turbo-petrol engine

28 Jun 2024

THE covers are off Volkswagen’s new generation 8.5 Golf R hot hatch and wagon making its European debut in late June with more power, improved dynamics, more tech, comfort and an optional R-Performance package additional to an available Black Edition with performance (and looks) ratcheted up to a higher level.


The R-Performance package brings a higher top speed Drift and Special motorsport modes, a larger roof spoiler a lap timer and G-meter.


European pricing for the hatch back is from €53,795 ($A86,715) with the Black Edition pitched from €58,440 ($A89,389). The current Aussie spec’ hatch goes for $70, 590 excluding on roads.


It is unclear if either the wagon (called Variant in Europe) or the Black Edition will make it Down Under, but the five-door certainly will… later in the year.


Volkswagen says new Golf R has optimised driving dynamics, exclusive standard equipment and a sharper design with an expanded range of R-specific equipment.


It is the most powerful Golf ever punching out a hairy chested 245kW complemented by 420Nm of torque from the revised 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that cranks out an extra 10kW compared to the outgoing model.


The newcomer can accelerate quicker pushing on to a new top speed of 250km/h that can be boosted by another 20km/h to 270km/h with the R-Performance package.


So, in addition to being the most powerful Golf ever, it is also the fastest Volkswagen production model alongside the Arteon R Shooting Brake (that isn’t available Down Under).


As in the past, the Golf R puts power to the road via an all-wheel drive 4Motion system through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) with performance torque vectoring.


In German spec’ cars, possibly carried through into Aussie spec Golf R is the Vehicle Dynamics Manager that optimises the driving experience utilising adaptive chassis control (DCC).


It is a technology that continuously reacts to the road surface and driving situation, while taking account of various elements including steering, braking and acceleration manoeuvres.


The lateral dynamic components of the DCC running gear are coordinated and further optimised by the Vehicle Dynamics Manager resulting in always providing the highest level of driving comfort and optimum driving dynamics.


It is integral in allowing the new Golf R to “effortlessly” strike a balance between everyday driving and sportiness at all times providing a particularly high degree of flexibility.


In everyday driving this flexibility is exemplified in the car’s maximum luggage compartment volume of 1642 litres (with folded rear seat backrests), offering generous stowage space.


In styling terms, the new, familiar looking hatch features a redesigned front with LED Plus headlights an illuminated VW badge and air curtains in the bumper as well as the new LED tail-light clusters.


Inside we find an upgraded interior and infotainment system with revamped hardware and software on the largest display (diagonal: 32.8cm) offered by Volkswagen.


In-car controls are said to be significantly improved thanks to new graphics and a fresh menu structure for the touch display. The control of the illuminated touch sliders for the automatic climate control and volume control as well as the voice assistant, which accesses the AI-based software ChatGPT to answer questions, have also been newly developed.


On top of that, the responsiveness of the touch steering wheel has been optimised.


It has a Digital Cockpit Pro as standard with multiple viewing choices, the interior ergonomically tailored to the driver and “exclusively refined in the ‘R’ style” with front sports seats and integrated head restraints.


An optional black Nappa leather interior with carbon-look elements with blue applications in the side area and an "R logo" in the seat backrest is available.


Also available as an option (on Euro spec cars) is interior components in real carbon-fibre.


Local pricing and specification detail will be advised closer to the models’ arrival.

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