UK customers can now place their orders for the most powerful production Golf yet, the 300 PS Golf R, ahead of the first deliveries in March 2014.
Prices for the range-topping R start at £29,900 for the three-door model with six-speed manual gearbox, and £31,315 for the three-door with six-speed DSG gearbox. The five-door versions cost £30,555 and £31,970 respectively.
At the heart of the R is a newly developed version of the four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharged EA888 TSI petrol engine used in the latest Golf GTI, but in this application producing 300 PS from 5,500 to 6,200 rpm and 380 Nm (280 lbs ft) from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm. Compared with the GTI’s powerplant, the Golf R’s engine has a modified cylinder head, exhaust valves, valve seats and springs, pistons, injection valves and turbocharger.
Zero to 62 mph takes 5.3 seconds (versus 5.7 seconds for previous Golf R), or 4.9 seconds with optional DSG gearbox. The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. Despite this increased performance, a combined fuel consumption of 39.8 mpg (40.9 mpg DSG), and CO2 emissions of 165 g/km (159 g/km DSG) make the Golf R up to 18 per cent more efficient than its predecessor.
Visually, the R is distinguished by its new front bumper design, with large air inlets, modified radiator grille with ‘R’ logo and daytime running lights that are integrated into the standard bi-xenon headlights. At the side, there are bespoke body-colour sills, and matt chrome-capped door mirrors.
Like all Golf Mk VIIs, the Golf R is lighter than its predecessor, with a kerbweight of 1,476 kg / 1,495 kg for DSG, which is 45 kg / 46 kg less than the Mk VI, and just 94 kg / 93 kg more than the GTI with Performance Pack.