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Facelifted VW Golf gains new R variants. Image by Volkswagen.

Facelifted VW Golf gains new R variants
Rapid Golf R is revealed in hatch and estate guises as before.
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What's all this about?

Cast your mind back to the start of the year and you might remember that we reported on the unveiling of the facelifted Volkswagen Golf Mk8. Well, now it's the turn of the range-topping flagship Golf R hot hatchback to get a revamp.

Rejoice! It doesn't look much different from before...

That's true. Nonetheless, as with the standard Golf, there are new LED headlights, while the badge on the nose is now illuminated and the front bumper features aerodynamically enhanced 'air curtains' to smooth its flow around the nose. At the rear there are more new LED lights, while an optional 19-inch forged alloy wheel design will be made available.

OK fair enough. What else is different?

Step inside, and you'll find a vast new 12.9-inch touchscreen display sat on top of the dashboard. This features a new menu system and the illuminated temperature and volume slider controls that the Golf has been crying out for since its original launch in 2019. The system also incorporates Volkswagen's latest voice control system, called IDA.

Also fitted is a 10.2-inch digital cockpit for the driver, which is operated via the multifunction steering wheel. This features bespoke R graphics, while other add-ons include a GPS lap timer, G-meter and display showing torque distribution to the front and rear axles.

Other R upgrades include sports seats with integrated headrests and R logos in blue, more blue stitching for the steering wheel and lots of carbon-effect and suede trim inside.

That's enough about that, what about the powertrain?

As before, the Golf R features VW's legendary EA888 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, and power has been boosted to 333hp, an increase of 13hp over the standard old Golf R. That means a 0-62mph time of 4.6 seconds (or 4.8 seconds for the slightly larger and heavier Golf R Estate) and a top speed of 167mph is offered on cars fitted with the Performance package, which is 12mph faster than the previous R's top speed.

Maximum torque is 420Nm, and the engine makes this from 2,100rpm to 5,500rpm, so should prove responsive. As with all Golf Rs, 4Motion four-wheel drive sends power to all four wheels via a seven-speed DSG twin-clutch gearbox.

How about the electronic wizardry?

Buy a Golf R (in Germany at least), and it will come with Volkswagen's Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) adaptive dampers as standard (UK specs are to be confirmed). The previous car's Comfort, Sport, Race and Individual DCC modes are joined by a new Eco setting, which is designed to boost efficiency when you're driving at a relaxed pace. If you add the optional Performance package, there are two more drive profiles added: Special and Drift.

Special is one that's tailored especially for the Nürburgring Nordschleife, with softer damping than in Race mode but the same throttle response, and a special gearbox setting that is designed to boost the car's performance during hard cornering. By the sounds of it, this could be a good option to use on bumpy UK B-roads, too.

The Drift mode does what it says on the tin, with the electronic stability control (ESC) loosening its grip on the chassis, but not entirely, just in case. It is of course possible to turn the ESC off completely, too.

Clever stuff indeed. Anything else to add?

Volkswagen will also offer a Golf R Black Edition, which darkens the exterior trim and wheels, and adds black exhaust tips and brake calipers, plus the Performance package is included as standard.

Prices for the new Golf R and Golf R Estate haven't been confirmed, but order books will open this summer with deliveries to be expected before the end of the year.

Shane O' Donoghue - 25 Jun 2024

Earlier articles featuring 2024 Volkswagen Golf

2024-05-31: VW reveals facelifted Golf GTI Clubsport
2024-01-23: VW unveils revamped Golf
2024-01-08: VW teases Golf facelift in Las Vegas

2024 Volkswagen Golf R. Image by Volkswagen.2024 Volkswagen Golf R. Image by Volkswagen.2024 Volkswagen Golf R. Image by Volkswagen.2024 Volkswagen Golf R. Image by Volkswagen.2024 Volkswagen Golf R. Image by Volkswagen.

2024 Volkswagen Golf R. Image by Volkswagen.2024 Volkswagen Golf R. Image by Volkswagen.2024 Volkswagen Golf R. Image by Volkswagen.2024 Volkswagen Golf R. Image by Volkswagen.2024 Volkswagen Golf R. Image by Volkswagen.    - Volkswagen road tests
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