The 2012 Volkswagen Golf R represents both more and less. The Golf R is the ultimate performance expression of the ever-popular Golf hatchback, with 256 hp and 4MOTION® all-wheel drive. That’s more power and performance than the Golf R32 that came before it. In exchange for the dynamic thrills, however, the Golf R consumes less fuel than the old R32, with EPA economy estimates of 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway. That fuel sipping behavior is all the more surprising when you consider that the Golf R has the most powerful engine Volkswagen offers in the Golf for U.S. buyers.
Choice has also been increased for Golf R buyers, who can now choose either the well-outfitted Golf R 2-Door, or two- or four-door versions of the more luxurious Golf R with Sunroof and Navigation. The Golf R 2-Door (MSRP $33,990) rides on 18-inch alloy wheels exclusive to the model and gets its robust motivation from the well-respected 2.0-liter TSI® four cylinder. Turbocharging and direct injection help this latest evolution of the EA113 engine make the most horsepower any U.S. Golf has ever offered. The cylinder block has been reinforced, pistons are secured to the crankshaft with stronger connecting rods, and Volkswagen uses a BorgWarner K04 turbocharger for up to 17psi of boost, a key factor in the 256 hp and 243 lb/ft of torque this engine develops.
all-wheel drive system is standard, and it features a quick-acting Haldex®
clutch pack that can send up to 100 percent of the engine’s power to the rear wheels. The independent suspension of the Golf R has been tuned to keep the chassis dancing in time with the powertrain, too. A stiff, tubular anti-roll bar is fitted to the strut front suspension, which keeps the front tires in contact with the road during even extreme cornering. The rear suspension is a compact multi-link arrangement with coil springs, telescoping dampers and an anti-roll bar. There are three lateral arms and a trailing link at each wheel to accurately locate the wheels and track the surface of the road. Both front and rear suspensions are mounted to the body via subframes that employ rubber and metal mountings for softness in torsion,
to enhance comfort, and radial rigidity to ensure that cornering forces are directed into the proper components, enhancing cornering.
An electro-mechanical power steering system in the Golf R varies effort according to driving conditions. The power steering system is efficient and lighter than hydraulic systems, which saves fuel, too. Counteracting the speed the engine can attain are vented 13.6-inch front and 12.2-inch rear disk brakes, both larger than what’s found on the GTI.
The Golf R with Sunroof and Navigation (2-Door MSRP $35,490, 4-Door MSRP $36,090) adds a power tilt and sliding sunroof, keyless entry, push-button starting, an RNS 315 Navigation System and a 300-watt Dynaudio® sound system. All Golf R models are equipped with Bi-Xenon headlamps; two-zone Climatronic® climate control; a leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob, and parking brake lever; leather seating surfaces and aluminum pedals.
Safety is another Volkswagen hallmark, and the Golf R features standard Bluetooth® hands-free connectivity plus Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-Slip Regulation (ARS) and an Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), all of which keep the Golf R on target with confidence and stability. The Volkswagen Intelligent Crash Response System (ICRS) will activate the hazard lights, unlock the doors and remove power from the fuel pump in the event of an accident, as well. Three years or 36,000 miles of no-charge scheduled Carefree Maintenance™ and Roadside Assistance are also included with every new Golf R.
When shopping for a car that offers more performance than most vehicles out there, along with a heavy dose of practicality and distinctive design, the Volkswagen Golf R offers more while consuming less. Its collection of talents is virtually unavailable anywhere else, making it the only one to go with if you’re looking for more, less, and fun, all in one.