Volkswagen New Golf R

The 2020 Volkswagen Golf R hatchback is now available to lease

The new Golf R will be a direct competitor to other performance hatchbacks such as the BMW M135i and the Mercedes-AMG A35.

The new Golf R features some subtle styling changes from the regular Golf - a more sporty-looking body kit, ‘R’ badges around the bodywork, unique 18-inch alloy wheels as well as riding 20mm lower than a normal Golf, giving it a lower centre of gravity and helping to improve handling.  There are also twin exhaust pipes, a rear diffuser and a rear spoiler and its style and perfomance can be tweaked with the optional R-performance pack (£2,000) which adds an upgraded two-piece rear spoiler to increase downforce, 19-inch alloy wheels and a lighter Akrapovic exhaust system as well as a higher top speed of 168mph.

Internally the new Golf R features a pair of bolstered sports seats with blue ‘R’ logos in the headrests, blue trim inserts and matching stitching as well as a set of brushed stainless steel pedals and a matching footrest.  Other features include a flat-bottomed steering wheel, larger gearshift paddles and selective ambient interior lighting.  The dashboard setup has been given the ‘R’ colour scheme but is otherwise similar to the regular Golf, twin-screen including a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen and digital dial cluster.  There are touch-sensitive controls for the stereo volume and climate control and switchable dial setups.

The EA888 turbocharged 2-litre petrol engine previously used in the Golf R now has an extra 20bhp increasing it to 316bhp.  Performance is similar to the previous version, 0-62mph takes 4.7 seconds and the standard specification offers an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.   The 7-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox sends power to all four wheels.  There isn’t a manual option.

Four selectable driving modes feature as standard – Comfort, Sport, Race and Individual.  A wealth of advanced technology is included, a revised traction control system, new two-stage stability control and torque vectoring capable of directing the engine’s power between the front and rear axles or even to a single rear wheel, all aimed at making the new R as fast as possible around a track.  The front brakes and power steering system have also been upgraded over the standard Golf.

There are slight efficiency improvements over the old car according to Volkswagen, a combined fuel economy figure of 36.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 177-181g/km.