This year is about to become a par 5 for the Volkswagen Golf. 2013 has already seen the new Golf GTI, Golf GTD, Golf Variant, and Golf TDI BlueMotion. Now, VW is planning to unleash the Golf R, which is significantly more powerful, more fuel efficient, and more stylish than its predecessors.
Beneath the hood of the Golf R lays an enhanced version of the EA888 four-cylinder turbocharged and direct injection 2.0-liter that sits in the new GTI. Compared to the GTI's version of the engine, which generates 227 horsepower, the Golf R's version produces 296 horsepower, an increase of 69 hp. In addition, torque has been increased by 22 foot-pounds. In order to achieve this much improvement, VW made adjustments to the cylinder head, pistons, high-pressure injection valves, and turbocharger, resulting in one of the most powerful four-cylinder production engines in the world.
An engine this powerful gets very hot very quickly and must be cooled. Earlier models of the EA888 engine use water-cooled exhaust gas channels and dual injection systems with direct and multi-port injection. The Golf R, however, features a new electronic coolant system that more efficiently manages the engines temperature. It reduces the warm-up phase, which decreases frictional losses and unnecessary fuel consumption. The Golf R's engine also features variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust and a two-stage exhaust-valve lift, which improves performance, fuel economy, and emissions.
In addition to the impressive engine, the Golf R is also host to a sport suspension tuned just for itself. With a 0.8 inch lower ride, the strut-type front suspension with a new lower wishbone, and the enhanced toe link bearings' tuning on the multi-link rear suspension, the Golf R is not only fun, but extremely stable and comfortable. Steering response time was also improved with a new variable ratio steering rack, which essentially eliminates understeer.
There are four options for driving modes in the standard Golf R: Eco, Normal, Individual, and Race. Racing mode increases the damping and alters the response times and shift points to be as sporty as possible. Individual mode allows the driver to combine settings from each mode to create his own customized parameters. Lastly, Eco mode controls the engine controller, air conditioning, and other units to limit fuel consumption. As an option, the Golf R features Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), with which the driver has the option of three driving modes: Comfort, Normal, and Sport. DCC uses an algorithm to take input from the wheel displacement sensors and accelerometers, determine these values, and modify the damping force for different driving situations.
The exterior of the Golf R has been updated to look sleeker and sportier. Up front, the bumper features big air inlets, a modified radiator grille with an emblazoned "R", and daytime running lights. On either side, the most noticeable difference is the 18-inch Cadiz aluminum alloy wheels with black brake calipers hidden beneath, the "R" style side skirts, and the "R" badges on the front fenders. In the rear, the Golf R features smoked LED taillights, an "R" style diffuser, four chrome tailpipes, and an emblazoned "R" on the trunk. The Golf R also has the option for a unique paint color, "Lapis Blue Metallic."
The Golf R has seen improvements across the board. It is faster, more fuel efficient, sleeker, sportier, lower, cooler, and more comfortable than its predecessors. It is host to a wide array of new features and technologies never seen before in the Golf series. The most powerful and fuel efficient Golf R is scheduled to arrive in dealerships in the fourth quarter of this year.