Thursday, January 12

Volkswagen Golf R (2012)

CARBARN | Volkswagen Golf R (2012) | In one sense, the R is a more powerful four-wheel-drive version of the 10Best-winning GTI. But in another, it's a more practical Audi TTS. Both previous generations were the resource persons of the R32 powered by VW's narrow-angle six-cylinder and put power to all four wheels.  Returning to the R line after a generational absence is a manual transmission, and there is no automatic option.

Without a doubt, the R Will tan the hide of a 200-hp GTI. But We Can think of two other four-wheel-drive hot rods that'll stop the hand That Volkswagen attempts to slap 'em with: the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR and the Subaru Impreza WRX STI. The VW Will be just A Few ticks behind the lighter TTS, too-the Golf's structure is all steel, where the TT's front half is aluminum.

A powered rear axle Nearly neutralizes the Golf platform's tendency toward understeer. VW says the Haldex four-wheel-drive clutch pack Will React to slippage and has the ability to send all available torque to either axle. We do not doubt this, as the Golf R will, at times, act like a rear-driver and rotate the tail a bit under power.

Fortunately, the U.S. tune Will be close to the European car's sportiest mode. An R-specific steering wheel is not too heavily weighted and points the car naturally. The shocks do an above-average job of controlling body motions. Bigger brake hardware (13.6-inch rotors front, 12.2 rear) does not translate to more feedback but Likely Will add some fade resistance and if the R ventures to the track. Apart from looking a lot like the GTI, the R rides 0.3 inches lower (at 57.5), is a hair-width shorter, and is adorned with "R" badges front and rear.

A no-option Golf R Should start at about $ 35,000, with a fully loaded model (navigation, keyless entry, upgraded stereo, and sunroof) peaking at $ 39,000. So is this a GTI or a hyperpractical superhairy TTS?