100 Hot Cars

Just Car Blog

Motor Trend Drives The Volkswagen Golf R: Video 5
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2012 Volkswagen Golf R, Automotive, Kurt, video, Videos, Volkswagen on 03 5th, 2012

The new Volkswagen Golf R is the most powerful production Golf ever built by Volkswagen, boasting 256 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque from its turbocharged, 2.0-liter engine. Unlike the front-wheel-drive GTI, The Golf R sends power to all four wheels, ensuring the maximum amount of forward thrust regardless of available traction.

Compared to the GTI’s force-fed, 2.0-liter four-banger, the Golf R motor gets strengthened internals to cope with the car’s higher output. Customers in the U.S. get the choice of any transmission they want on Golf R models, so long as it’s a six-speed manual. Since the Golf R will be imported in limited quantities, Volkswagen isn’t offering the car with a DSG gearbox on this side of the pond.

As you’d expect, the Golf R is quicker than a GTI, reeling off the 0-60 run in 5.8 seconds (compared to the GTI’s time of just over 7 seconds). Like the GTI, however, the Golf R is saddled with the same performance Achilles heel: you can’t defeat the car’s stability control, making it safer on the road but slower on the track.

At a starting price of $35,360, the Golf R isn’t the most cost-effective way to go fast, either. As Motor Trend’s Carlos Lago points out, both the Mitsubishi Evo and the Subaru STI offer more performance for a comparable price, but offer far less refinement than the Golf R. While the Japanese models sacrifice comfort (and to some degree, build quality) compared to the Golf R, the German hot hatch is working overtime to make everyone happy. It may not be the fastest car around the track, but it’s the car you’ll most want to drive to the track, especially if its in the next state over.

2012 Volkswagen Golf R Starts At $33,900 5
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2012 Volkswagen Golf R, Automotive, Kurt, News, Volkswagen on 10 5th, 2011

The 2012 Golf R. Image: Volkswagen

If you’ve been living on a diet of ramen and peanut butter, trying to scrape together enough cash for a 2012 Volkswagen Golf R, we can finally tell you how much it’s going to cost. The two-door Golf R will start at $33,900 (excluding destination charge), while the four-door’s price of admission begins at $36,090 (also excluding destination charge). If $2,200 seems a bit steep for two doors, realize that it’s not an apples to apples comparison; the base model only comes in a two door, while the least expensive four-door also includes the sunroof and navigation package.

All Golf R models come with a six-speed manual transmission, and no DSG or automatic transmission is offered. They also get a 256 horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter engine (the most powerful ever fitted to a Golf in the U.S.) and Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. Even the Golf R’s suspension and brakes are unique, ensuring that the Golf R is the best-handling car in the VW product lineup.

Image: Volkswagen

That said, Subaru STI and Mitsubishi Evo owners have nothing to fear. The Golf R isn’t aimed at the same market, and in stock form it won’t compete with either on a racetrack. Instead, the Golf R is aimed at a more mature (in other words, older) buyer who wants an entertaining commuter car that can still be flogged on the occasional track day. It’s not as fast as the Subie or Mitsi, but the interior is a much more refined place to spend time.

For the Volkswagen loyalist, we suspect that’s good enough, and we’re guessing that VW will have no trouble in selling every Golf R imported into the U.S.