Volkswagen Unveils Redesigned 2015 Golf R Hatchback
By Carl Malek
Following numerous teases and spy photos, Volkswagen has officially unveiled the 2015 Volkswagen Golf R which aims to reward buyers of this hardcore hatchback with more power, refinement, and technology when it makes its official debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The exterior styling of the Golf R retains much of its mainstream sibling’s basic themes and lines, but Volkswagen stylists have added several distinct features that do their part to make the R model visually standout from the GTI and its lesser Golf siblings. A revised front fascia amps up the aggression factor of the Golf R, and features bi-xenon headlamps which are complemented with LED daytime running lamps to create an assertive yet elegant look. The rear fascia has also been tweaked and now comes equipped with LED tail lamps and four chrome exhaust tips which replace the center mounted dual pipe arraignment wielded by the previous generation R model. A slick set of 18 inch alloy wheels rounds out the exterior changes and further enhances the car’s stance and performance oriented character.
Unfortunately Volkswagen did not release any official photographs of the R’s interior, but the company claims that the revised cabin will feature Alcantara upholstery, a three spoke steering wheel, a state of the art touch screen infotainment system, as well as a three spoke steering wheel and ambient lighting accents. These features should do an excellent job in enhancing an already excellent design, and we look forward to perhaps experiencing it in person in the near future.
Performance for the 2015 Golf R has also seen a much needed upgrade and now comes from a version of the familiar 2.0 liter TSI four cylinder engine which is good for a healthy 300 horsepower ( a gain of 44 over the old model) and a 0 to 60 sprint of 4.9 seconds when equipped with the DSG automatic transmission (a six speed manual gearbox is standard equipment and slightly increases its 0 to 60 time to 5.3 seconds). All of this power is channeled to all four wheels through the latest iteration of the company’s familiar 4Motion all-wheel drive system, which should provide much smooth, torque steer-free power delivery, unlike rivals such as the Ford Focus ST, and the Mazdaspeed 3. In addition to its performance credentials, the 2015 Golf R is also much more fuel efficient than before and delivers 33 mpg (Imperial) in mixed driving, thoughyou can expect its fuel economy ratings here in the U.S. to vary somewhat due to our country’s different testing regimen.
Handling has also been sharpened thanks to a lowered and stiffened suspension, stronger track-spec brakes to ensure strong and stable stops, and the addition of Volkswagen’s Active Chassis technology which helps keep the car on course during rigorous track work or when carving corners on our favorite back-roads.
Look for the 2015 Volkswagen Golf R to make its official debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show next month with the first production units landing in German showrooms later this year. Pricing will begin at €38,325 ($51,000 when conversion is applied) and the car will be available in either three door or five door body styles. Volkswagen has not released official U.S. pricing as of yet, but expect that bit of information to be revealed closer to the car’s launch, and it obviously will not be anywhere near that Audi-like price. We’d anticipate that it will see only a modest pricing increase despite the across-the-board improvements on top of what was already a very good car. The Golf R remains the gentleman’s version of the Subaru WRX STi and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
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