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Volkswagen Golf R

When in the market for the closest you can get to a proper race car in hatchback clothing, it’s difficult to find a car better suited for it than the Volkswagen Golf R. Here’s what you need to know. The Volkswagen Golf R is the type of car you’d go for if you’ve been nurturing that inner race car driver since childhood but couldn’t quite make it as an F1 superstar. This VW sits at the top of the maker’s lineup thanks to true enthusiast-level performance, premium tech and a pretty good price. Most recent updates include the new Volkswagen Digital Cockpit instrument cluster and a better 8-inch MIB dashboard tech. You’ll be glad to know that the same tried-and-tested six-speed manual transmission is still present as standard. Keep reading to get to know this impressive car in more detail.

Basically a GTI on Steroids

Have you ever thought about what would happen if you were to take the already impressive Golf GTI and pump it full of ‘roids? You’d end up with the Golf R – in a good way. You’ll essentially find the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the R. The difference is, everything except for the engine block itself has been revamped, amplified, made more powerful and put back into the R’s heart. That includes the direct injection system, pistons, turbocharger and unique cylinder head. When it’s all said and done, the R generates 292 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque, harnessed through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DSG) option with paddle shifters. As a result of this much work and engineering, the R simply goes like a rocket both off the line and in any other situation.

Riding on a Cloud & Tarmac at the Same Time

A particularly impressive tech feature inside the Golf R is VW’s DCC adaptive dampers, designed and engineered to continuously vary the compression and rebound damping of the suspension while cornering. The steering rate and geometry have also been tweaked and revised in order to ensure better responsiveness and overall feel, in addition to the ride height being even lower than the GTI. When looking to quickly adjust the firmness of the DCC suspension, choose between three settings – Comfort, Sport and Race. Coupled with beefier brakes, 19-inch wheels and performance tires, as well as VW’s all-wheel drive system known as 4Motion, the Golf R is definitely one mean handling machine.

One Trim to Rule Them All

There’s really no need to offer the Golf R in several different trim levels, when you really think about it. All you need is just one and it’s already available and fully loaded, with features like the VW Digital Cockpit, 4Motion all-wheel drive, 8-inch navigation and adaptive suspension. Add to that exterior features such as a more aggressive bodywork and exhaust, as well as uniquely-styled LED headlights, and what you’re left with is probably the most badass-looking Golf on the market. Do you Need it? Yes. If you’re a Golf hatchback fan, then the Volkswagen Golf R is definitely the one to go for, especially when you consider the competition. Why? Because it offers a combination that just hits the sweet spot: it comes with the best possible balance of premium comfort and tech, both street and competitive track performance and a pretty good price as well. Not to mention that the lack of wings and massive intakes makes it a mature-looking car that an adult would definitely drive. While not best at any one thing, it’s absolutely great at everything – much like its GTI brother.