Volkswagen has launched the most powerful street version of the Golf to date – and for the first time ever with a drift mode.
The aggressively designed all-wheel-drive model – the most powerful ever to have worn the legendary Golf emblem – develops 320 hp with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine with a strong stretch and can go from zero to 100 km / h in just 4.7 seconds accelerate and to a top speed of 167mph.
But it's the inclusion of a drift mode that's likely to get the most buzz – both golf fanatics and road safety groups – when activated, it turns the family-friendly hatchback into a power-sliding hooligan.
VW's new hooligan hatchback: This is the brand new Golf R that develops a massive 320 hp and for the first time has a drift mode
In conjunction with an elegant seven-speed dual clutch transmission, the standard top speed for the new Golf R is 250 km / h. With the optional R-Performance package, however, this value increases to 250 km / h.
This R-Performance package also contains two additional driving profiles for performance drivers that extend the existing race profile and are set using a special R button on the steering wheel.
One of them is Drift Mode – taking a sheet out of the hit film franchise Fast and Furious and copying the Ford Focus RS – which is clearly aimed at those who like the thrill and excitement of controlled sliding.
When the driver presses the R-Performance button on the steering wheel, he can activate the drift setting in a submenu on the touchscreen in the dashboard.
"In the drift profile, the parameters for the electronic stability control and the power distribution via the all-wheel drive system enable the Golf R to drift on private routes," says VW.
The mode "opens up a completely new level of driving dynamics away from public roads and makes the experience behind the wheel even more fun".
VW notes, however, that not all loner drifters always stick to the rules – or to the route – and are undoubtedly recommended by their lawyers: “To ensure that the profile is only selected on private roads, the infotainment system always shows confirmation at command prompt before activating it. & # 39;
In the drift profile, the parameters for electronic stability control and power distribution via the all-wheel drive system enable the Golf R to drift on private routes, ”says VW
The drift mode is part of the R-Performance package, which is activated via the blue R button on the steering wheel. To select the drift mode, you have to switch to a subfolder in the infotainment system
Road safety groups question the safety data of a setting that promotes drifting and can be activated on public roads, although a warning is displayed on the screen that is only allowed to be used on private land or on racetracks
While it is recommended not to use the mode on private roads, this statement suggests that drivers can simply ignore the prompt and enable the setting on public highways.
When Ford first announced its hot Focus RS hatchback had a drift mode five years ago, road safety groups around the world questioned the inclusion of a setting that encouraged potentially dangerous driving antics.
The stunt driver Ben Collins, formerly the white-clad and helmet-provided professional driver behind "The Stig" in BBC's Top Gear, is said to have told the Ford RS that you can drive it "like a hooligan" in the special driving mode.
Harold Scruby, a traffic safety activist with the Pedestrian Council of Australia, told news.com.au in 2016 that he was "absolutely stunned" that the mode had been approved.
"A disclaimer won't stop an idiot from trying this on public roads," he said.
& # 39; We urge Ford to reconsider its decision to recall these vehicles and disable this driving mode. Ford cannot exempt itself from its duty of care towards road users and customers with a disclaimer in the dashboard. & # 39;
Ford's Focus RS Hot hatchback – a rival of the less powerful Golf GTi – has had a "drift mode" since its introduction in 2015
At this point, Ford gave the answer: “Drift mode is only intended for use on the racetrack. When changing the mode, a disclaimer is displayed on the instrument cluster. We believe the drift and track modes are suitable for racetracks and that typical Focus RS customers understand the need to use these features in controlled and safe conditions such as on a track day. "
VW's inclusion of a similar mode for the all-new Golf R has re-raised concerns that some drivers may continue to use the option on public roads, especially given recent examples of illegal drifting meetings in the UK.
The second setting in the R-Performance package is a new & # 39; Special & # 39; mode, which was optimized on the infamous Nordschleife of the Nürburgring and helped to shorten the lap time of the previous Golf-R by 17 seconds (7 Minutes 53 seconds as opposed to 8 minutes 10 seconds).
VW is aware of the tendency of some high-performance, high-speed cars to blow up and says the setup is tailored to "ensure the Golf R maintains maximum contact with the road on the hilly Nordschleife". And elsewhere, no doubt.
For those looking for a more relaxed ride – and traveling in a straight line – there is also a "Comfort" mode.
The range of driving models is rounded off by the "Sport" and "Individual" profiles. The latter allow the driver to adjust a large number of settings to his personal preferences.
The Golf R looks extremely aggressive with flared arches, a bulkier bumper, and a large spoiler
Inside, the blue tones differ from the red-aligned Golf GTi that sits under this car in the VW area
What else does the Golf R have to offer outside of driving modes and drifting?
The new Golf-R runs on 18-inch wheels as standard, optionally with 19-inch versions.
Its sporty chassis is 20 mm lower than the standard Golf and gives it a more squat profile all round.
Powerful new brakes ensure that they can stop in good time and “guarantee superior deceleration from every speed range”.
The basic package includes premium sports seats, a navigation system and background lighting.
According to VW, the new fifth generation of the Golf-R is the new dynamic flagship of the eighth generation of the Golf and notes: "It is the most powerful of all Golf models."
It says: “The R-Performance package also includes a large rear spoiler open towards the roof (which provides additional downforce on the rear axle) as well as 19-inch instead of 18-inch wheels and two additional driving profiles. Special (Nürburgring mode) and Drift & # 39 ;.
Optional extras that can be added include these wonderful Akrapovic titanium sport exhaust tips
The basic package includes these premium sports seats, the navigation system and the backlight
The all-wheel drive system – called 4Motion – helps the car to drive more stable around bends with the help of compensation-enhancing torque vectoring.
VW explains: “A new rear-axle drive distributes the drive force not only to the front and rear axles, but also to the two rear wheels. This makes it possible to significantly increase the agility of the Golf R, especially when cornering.
& # 39; As a world first, the all-wheel drive is also networked with other chassis systems via a vehicle dynamics manager – such as the electronic differential locks and the adaptive chassis control.
"Thanks to this close integration, the new Golf R offers optimal traction properties, neutral handling with the highest precision, maximum agility and, last but not least, maximum driving pleasure."
Will it fit in my garage?
New Volkswagen Golf-R
On offer: End of November. "Pre-Sales" starting November 5th
Price: from just under £ 40,000
Length: 4.287 mm
Width (without exterior mirrors): 1.789 mm
Height: 1.478 mm
Wheelbase: 2.627 mm
Engine: 2.0 liter 4 cylinder
Power: 320 hp
Transmission: 7-speed double clutch
0-62mph: 4.7 seconds
Maximum speed (standard): 155mph
Top speed: (R-Performance Pack): 167mph
Bikes: 18 inch standard, 19 inch optional
Additional driving modes: Nürburgring "Special" and "Drift"
The design improvements that separate it from the not-so-hot Golf GTi include blue brake calipers, new front and rear bumpers, exclusive air intake grilles, a lower silhouette and chrome-plated twin exhaust pipes with four-valve tailpipes.
The automaker said: "Volkswagen will again offer an optional seven kilogram lighter Akrapovic titanium exhaust system for the new Golf, with which the sound can also be controlled via the flaps."
Inside, the driver has customized digital screens with some specially tailored Golf-R graphics, e.g. B. a central round tachometer.
The touch-sensitive multifunction sports steering wheel made of leather has ergonomically shaped manual transmissions that are larger than the standard model.
The new flagship Golf-R stands above the already introduced GTi, GTi Clubsport, GTE and GTD.
Since 1974, when the box-shaped hatchback followed the curvy Beetle, around 35 million Volkswagen Golfs have been brought onto the market over eight generations.
Since 2002, more than 200,000 Performance R models have been sold over five generations.
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