Originally published January 20, 2014

Preview and photos by Peter Bleakney

2015 Volkswagen Golf R
2015 Volkswagen Golf R
2015 Volkswagen Golf R. Click image to enlarge

Here’s some good news for Canadian V-Dub enthusiasts. Our next Golf R, which is based on the seventh-generation Golf, will be a regular order car. In other words, availability won’t be so painfully limited as with the 2012–2013 Golf R that was mostly sold out before it even got here.

The other good news is this newest R is sure to be a better car. It certainly looks the part. The previous model was a bit of a wallflower. This blue two-door Golf R that rolled onstage at the Detroit auto show cut a pretty sharp profile with its four chromed exhaust tips, 19-inch alloys wearing 235/35R performance rubber (let’s hope for these tires), lowered stance (5 mm lower than GTI) and an aggressive visage. The headlights are particularly interesting.

Brakes are upgraded with 340-mm front and 310-mm rear discs. This latest version of Haldex all-wheel drive can send almost 100 percent of power to the rear wheels, and, unusual for VW products, the stability control can be turned off completely. It is equipped with VW’s brake-induced torque vectoring.

Built on Volkswagen’s new MQB modular platform that will underpin most upcoming models, this Golf R will be lighter than the previous version by about 45 kg. Fuel efficiency is up a claimed 18 percent.

Interior quality is astoundingly good. The doors close with the muted authority of a Bentley. The steering wheel is a work of art.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R2015 Volkswagen Golf R2015 Volkswagen Golf R
2015 Volkswagen Golf R. Click image to enlarge

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Manufacturer’s Website:
Volkswagen Canada

Photo Gallery:
2015 Volkswagen Golf R

We will see this German-built all-wheel-drive über-Golf in early 2015, and like our last R it will come fully loaded (sunroof, nav, leather) and only available as a four-door. The only decisions buyers will have to make pertain to colour (a new R-specific palette is promised that includes the requisite bright blue) and transmission – a six-speed manual or twin-clutch DSG with paddle shifters. At this point, we don’t know if it will have six or seven cogs.

The direct-injection turbocharged 2.0L four is the same EA888 unit as in the GTI, but thanks to new pistons, cylinder head and turbo, it will make close to 300 hp and 260–270 lb-ft of torque. The 0–100 km/h dash is dispensed in 4.9 seconds. While pricing won’t be announced until close to launch, we can count on this R not being any less than the 40 grand we paid for the last one.

Here’s an interesting fact: per capita and market share, Canada showed the highest percentage of Golf R sales globally. Yay, eh.

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