- I'm not really a fan of the Golf 8 design, but in R guise I think I'm warming to it...

Pre-Sales Start For New Volkswagen Golf R

The eagerly-awaited R version of the 8th generation of the Golf was unveiled yesterday, and already the pre-sales have started.

Ah, the VW Golf R, a popular choice for those looking for a solid, dependable hot hatch that delivers potent performance delivered in the no-nonsense, straight-laced, German body of a Golf. It's car that can be parked outside McDonald's, or in Monte Carlo and it won't look out of place in either setting. Add in the fact that offers the all-year usability of all-wheel drive and you can see why it's become a very popular option amongst petrolheads.

Mmmmmm just look at those seats!

Mmmmmm just look at those seats!

So, what's new?

Speaking of the all-wheel drive system, that's one area that is new for the Golf R, featuring R-Performance Torque Vectoring, which is not only able to distribute the power between the front and rear axle, but it can also distribute the power between the rear wheels as well. There's also an optional R-Performance Package which adds a few spicy options. The first of which, is a top speed increased from 155mph to 168mph, which let's face it, you won't REALLY need.

Yes, it seems as if Ze Germans have been allowed to let their mullets down for the R

The R-Performance Package also adds larger rear spoiler, 19" alloys and two extra driving modes; Special and Drift. Yes, it seems as if Ze Germans have been allowed to let their mullets down for the R, although VW are keen to state this is not for the public road. If you're wondering what the 'Special' mode is for, it's driving profile dedicated to James May's favourite place on Earth - yes, the Nurburgring. It would come as little surprise that this is where the Golf R spent a lot of its development time.

What about the engine?

The engine remains the same 2.0 litre turbocharged four cylinder EA888 petrol engine that many of you - and tuners - will be familiar with. It pumps out a bit more performance than before, offering 320ps and 420Nm of torque, which is impressive, although my Mk2 Leon Cupra has more ;) . What? Just sayin'. This power is of course fed to all four wheels via a 7-speed DSG 'box.

Like the last Golf R, the new version is available with the optional Akrapovic exhaust system which is 7kg lighter

Like the last Golf R, the new version is available with the optional Akrapovic exhaust system which is 7kg lighter

The engine may be the same, but thanks to the small boost in power, 0-62 will now take 4.7 seconds - 0.2 seconds faster than before. Ok, it's not leaps and bounds, but it is quicker. Speaking of quicker, the new car is up to 19 seconds quicker around the Green Hell than its predecessor, which is pretty good going!

How much will it cost?

The price is yet to be revealed, but many press outlets predict it will be somewhere between £37,000-£40,000.

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