The engine of the new Golf R alone was enough to grab our attention. The boosted 2.0-liter EA888 puts out 292 horses and 280 pound-feet of torque and, along with the all-wheel drive system, propels the Golf R from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds on to a recorded quarter mile of 13.6 seconds. The biggest choice that Golf R buyers will need to make is whether to opt for the six-speed manual or the six-speed dual-clutch (DSG) transmission. The difference between the two is notable, since the manual gearbox is slower to 60 mph by half a second, but is probably more fun.
The Golf R’s cornering potential ability matches its potent powerplant by utilizing the new Electronic Differential Lock System, or XDS for short. According to Volkswagen, the difference between the XDS function and the familiar Electronic Differential Lock (ELD) function is that “XDS responds not to loss of traction but to the unloading of the front wheel on the inside of the corner when cornering fast.” Sounds like a great formula for an insanely fun drive.
After coming down from the excitement over the EA888 and XDS system, we had to keep ourselves from drooling over the staggeringly-attractive Golf R. Both the interior and exterior are marvelous, with the car’s aggressive looks being matched by the snarl of its wonderfully-sounding exhaust note.
Overall, the Golf R seems like a ton of fun right out of the factory. And just imagine what a tune and basic bolt-ons could do.