Thursday, February 29, 2024

Volkswagen Golf R, small but muscular!

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Tony Vaughn
Tony Vaughn
"Total creator. Evil zombie fan. Food evangelist. Alcohol practitioner. Web aficionado. Passionate beer advocate."

Special collaboration, Marc Bouchard, automotive journalist

The Volkswagen Golf R, and its more discreet sister, the GTI, are back in 2022. It’s more refined and elegant than ever, yet it retains the qualities that made it so appealing to its enthusiasts. It’s actually hard to blame them for anything, even though they’re not perfect.

However, they do what is required of them perfectly: to provide unforgettable driving pleasure, something we have somewhat forgotten with recent generations. In short, the two small German hatchbacks proved beyond any doubt that the Evolution suits them well. I was able to test drive the Golf R without any regrets!

News, not new

Before talking about leadership and performance, let’s remember the situation. Volkswagen has chosen to abandon the marketing of the core golf game on our soil. Well, I still do not understand the reason for this decision, no offense to Volkswagen representatives, but this is their choice.

The good news is that the German manufacturer still chooses to offer us the opportunity (yes, the opportunity) to be able to purchase two copies of the eighth-generation Golf, the Golf GTI and its Canadian counterpart. (and slightly stronger), the Golf R.

True, they are a little more like a vehicle. Also true, it is designed for fans of true dynamic driving. And especially true, even if the old generation of these cars represented the dominance of Volkswagen in its place, the newcomers, which have already been sold in Europe for a long time, prove that we can always evolve.

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I’m not a tattooed Volkswagen like some of my colleagues are. I don’t shiver with desire every time I see someone pass by, young or old. But you have to admit that every time I get behind the wheel of a GTI or R, I tell myself I’m going to find a place for them in my driveway.

Technical cockpit

The cockpit reflects Volkswagen’s advanced technology. Essentially, the imposing central display for comfort and entertainment control, Android Auto and Apple, wireless car play, induction charging have become part of the scene. The system does not respond as quickly as one would like, but once set it is hassle free.

In front of the driver is a basic digital dashboard that can be customized as needed. Everything is easy to use and does not require much care to master.

Add to those leather booster seats just the way it should

And you will have a good idea of ​​the atmosphere on the plane.

Make way for the Volkswagen Golf R.

When you think of performance, you think of the Volkswagen Golf R. I admit, I have always found the little German to be somewhat civilized. I loved the rebellious and uncomfortable, but more extreme side of the Ford Focus RS or Subaru STI. Especially when they didn’t present their current revamped look). I don’t know if it was age, wisdom or my height that grew, but I much preferred staying aboard the Golf R this time.

The new version now delivers 315 horsepower, which is really impressive. Combined with the intelligent all-wheel drive system, this enables absolute control over performance. But add some more extreme driving modes, and you’ll get an amazing car.

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For example, the Golf R now has a Drift mode that allows for a more active transfer of power to enhance controlled gliding. You’ll understand, I didn’t get a chance to try it. But let’s say that if (and I mean if) you do, I’ll tell you that starting controlled cornering just got a whole lot easier. Even for people who have no talent in this field like me. But I had to try it in a large deserted parking lot for closed trade….

Another mode, the Nürburgring, comes to add to the driving excitement. From the start, the cabin turns green (the circuit is called Green Hell), the engine speed increases by 500 rpm and the sound becomes more present. Good note, because the old version was a bit quiet.

The manual gearbox is nice, the automatic even more so because it fits better in the engine and allows for more precise control. Fundamentalists will prefer the lever, and performance enthusiasts will choose the DSG.

I loved the ride, and highly appreciated her behavior in the snow. But I still have a doubt: Will I actually pay $50,000 for a Golf R?

in the podcast

Obviously, on this episode of the podcast, it’s about a more complete test, and my main multimedia system concern, of the Golf R.

But we’re not just talking about performance. We’re also talking about the environment, ethanol (the opposite of the numbers, but that happens) and William also found out which models have the best chance of surviving for the long haul. Good listening!

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