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199-kW Golf R breaks free

2009-09-16 08:15
Billed as the most powerful Golf yet, Volkswagen has unveiled its new R model at Frankfurt.

In the vein of previous Golf R32 models, this R is kitted with four-wheel drive. However, for the new R, the Golf loses the 3.2-litre V6 lump up front and replaces it with a four-cylinder 2.0-litre TSI engine.

The new engine is not only 35 kg lighter, but also quite a bit more powerful (the R32's motor produced 184 kW). Although derived from the Golf V GTI, the block was reinforced with a new alloy head, uprated pistons, con rods and high pressure injectors for the extraction of more power. The uprated turbo comes with a new intercooler.

This unit produces 199 kW at 6 000 r/min and 350 Nm from 2 500 to 5 000 r/min.

It allows the R to sprint from 0 - 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds, (5.5 seconds for the DSG model) and has a top speed electronically limited to 250 km/h.

It goes without saying that the new powerplant is also more efficient than its predecessor. Fuel consumption is quoted at 8.5 l/100 km.

Thanks to a suspension upgrade, Golf R rides 25mm lower with its revised spring and damper rates and new anti-roll bars. Electro-mechanical power steering has also been tightened for sharper responses and the ESP has been tweaked, too, with two stages designed for track days.

Another significant change is the four-wheel drive system. The one used in the R32 has been abandoned for a pre-charged hydraulic system that is said to react more quickly while limiting torque being channeled to the rear wheels to reduce wheelspin. Up to 100% of the torque can now be sent to the rear wheels, if necessary.

But the Golf R does not just go differently to tamer Golfs, it also looks different.

It gets new front and rear bumpers with LED running lights at the front and a black rear diffuser. A new black grille and wing mirrors, xenon headlights and, at the rear, LED tail lamps, set the R apart. 18-inch five-spokes fill the wheelarches neatly.

Inside the cabin, the new seats are finished in Alcantara and mesh cloth while black accents throughout the cabin allow the electric blue needles within the revised instrument column to stand out more.

The Golf R arrives in South Africa from the third quarter of 2010.


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