UITENHAGE, Eastern Cape - Volkswagen is starting 2014 with the market introduction of one of the sportiest compact models in South Africa, the new Golf R. Since February 2013 VW has launched seven new Golf derivatives - among them a Golf GTI.Wheels24 will be driving the car later this week in its home town of Port Elizabeth The two-litre Golf R TSI has a newly designed 206kW engine (from 5550-6200rpm), 18kW more but as much as 18% more fuel efficient than the sixth generation. Maximum torque is up by 30Nm to 380Nm over a broad range of 1800-5500rpm.LOWER RIDE, RACE MODELike all previous Golf R models, this one also sends its turbocharged power to the road through permanent all-wheel drive - in this case the latest 4MOTION system with a fifth-generation Haldex coupling.It is 20mm lower that its predecessor, rides on a reconfigured sport suspension, has new progressive steering and "ESC Sport" joins optional features that include dynamic chassis control and a drive profile selector that includes Race mode.The six-speed manual Golf R (coming second half of 2014) can reach 100km/h in 5.2sec - a half-second faster than its predecessor. The immediately available six-speed dual-clutch gearbox lops 0.2sec off that.Top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h. Fuel consumption (as measured by the European test that will be nowhere near the reality of everyday driving) is down from 8.5 to 6.9 litres/100km from that of the previous model and the engine is said to be cleaner, down by 40g/km from the 199g/km of the previous car.EXCLUSIVE BITSStandard Bluemotion tech adds stop/start ignition in traffic and battery-charging.Listed R-exclusive bits include special bumpers and sills, 19" alloy rims, bi-xenon headlights with redesigned diode daytime running lights, dark-red diode rear lights and two-branch exhaust plumbing with four chromed tailpipes. This the Golf flagship comes with leather sport seats, leather-trimmed three-spoked sport steering wheel, "ambience" lighting, automatic air con and a touchscreen conrtrolled audio system.Retail price with VAT and emissions tax - R486 200.