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DRIVEN: VW's hottest hatch in SA - halo Golf R

2017-08-08 08:11

Janine Van der Post

Image: Wheels24 / Janine Van der Post

Cape Town - Clarence Drive is one of the most beautiful and thrilling roads in the Western Cape. It also makes for the perfect route to drive Volkswagen's hottest hatchback yet in South Africa.

Volkswagen's halo Golf model, the Golf R, is the automaker's most powerful Golf yet, Janine Van der Post drives the model in Cape Town...

'It sounds divine'

There are bursts of sunlight trying to break through the clouds over the ocean as you drive along the coast. Mountains and rocks on one side, and a low wall separating you from a steep drop to the ocean below. It's possibly the most twisty road you can experience in the Western Cape with a tiny bit of a straight nearing Koel Bay. It's the perfect route to stitch together corners behind the wheel of a performance Golf.

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Some of my favourite moments is hearing the R blip when gearing down or the sound of the exhaust when feeding it some throttle.

It sounds divine, and according to VW, "there's no faster way of getting out of a corner". 

New Golf R in SA

Volkswagen says the 2.0-litre TSI engine, mated to a 7-speed DSG, delivers 213kW/380Nm. Those figures equates to a 4.6 second zero to 100km/h sprint time  - 8% faster than its predecessor and a claimed 6.9 litres/100km fuel consumption.

New styling tweaks include motorsport inspired styling goodies such as gloss-black air curtains, 19" Spielberg rims and the new animated LED tail lights. 

And when you're not throwing this sporty number into corners, and want a more relaxed drive, you can drive semi-autonomously with the use of adaptive cruise control, front assist and emergency braking. 

Other niceties include the active info display featuring a lap-timer, drive profile selection and a panoramic glass roof. There's also high-beam light assist, voice control and the 19" alloys which is a great step up from those rims on the Golf V which started appearing on every Golf, and even on non-Volkswagens.

I'd definitely choose the Golf R or the GTD over the GTI, any day. Where the GTD is more refined, the R is a lot more fun in terms of fun behind the wheel. It's for those who are still racer-boys (or racer-girls) at heart who need to suit-up for work, or as dads or moms, without having to compromise any thrills for a daily drive.

The Golf R sports a hefty price-tag - R647 300.

Click on the image below to see the difference between the new Golf R and the previous version.

Cape Town Radio Personality, DJ & dad, Tyrone Paulsen, says: "The R has the practicality of a Golf with the insaneness of a hot hatch that you could easily drive in peak hour traffic and like a hoon when needed. 

"The look of the car is not as over done as its rivals and the all-wheel drive gives you the confidence that you can put it into a corner or get out of a sticky situation when needed. 

"It might not be the best in class when it comes to power but it's an overall winner when it comes to a daily car, which is what it will be for most of us."


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