VW fans can breathe a collective sigh of relief; the awesome Golf R will be making it to North America. Hey, with the new Scirocco a Europe-only model, there was some concern that Volkswagen might start saving all the good stuff for Germany. Thankfully, the North American International Auto Show will welcome the 290-horsepower, all-wheel drive Golf to Detroit next week.
The Golf R goes on sale during the first quarter of 2015, and it proudly carries the flag for the three R-model Golfs that came before it. The formula is the same: big power and all-wheel drive. The 2.0 liter turbocharged direct-injection V8 is thirty-four horses more powerful than the last Golf R, and VW reports 0-60 times of 4.9 seconds. The engine also returns 31-mpg fuel economy when equipped with a six-speed manual transmission.
All-wheel drive is standard, and uses a Haldex coupling and four electronic differential locks to assist the stability control. Volkswagen’s new XDS cross-differential lock is also on hand to maximize traction during high-speed driving. A sport-oriented stability control system is also standard, and can be deactivated on the track.
The suspension is 0.2 inches lower than that of the GTI, and 0.8 lower than the stock Golf. The Golf R features a unique lower control-arm in the front as well as a new varialble-ratio steering rack. VW’s Dynamic Chassis Control is available. Larger brakes are also installed, naturally.
To distinguish the Golf R from the pedestrian version, VW redesigned the bumpers, rear diffuser and side skirts. LED daytime running lights have a distinctive U shape. Eighteen-inch wheels are uniqueto the Golf R as well. There are also interior upgrades, including sport seats, two-tone interior trim, carbon-type inlays on the dash and doors, and a fancier interior with a 5.8-inch navigation screen.
In the U.S., the Golf R will be a four-door only, though two-doors are offered in Europe.