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The most powerful and fastest-accelerating Golf ever produced - the Golf R - has been unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Developed by Volkswagen Individual, the special projects wing of Volkswagen, and following on from the Mk4 and Mk5 Golf R32 models, the four-wheel-drive Golf R is equipped with a 2.0-litre TSI four-cylinder engine developing 270PS.
Not only is the new engine 35kg lighter and 20PS more powerful than the 3.2-litre V6 found in the outgoing Golf R32, it's also more efficient. Economy rises from a combined 26.4mpg to 33.2mpg while CO2 emissions fall from 257g/km to 199g/km. Despite the gains in efficiency, the Golf R is faster and sharper than ever - the new car can accelerate from rest to 62mph in just 5.7 seconds. Equipped with a six-speed DSG gearbox, this figure falls to 5.5 seconds. The top speed is limited to 155mph.
The 1,984cc, four-cylinder EA113 engine (as opposed to the EA888 fitted to the current Golf GTI) is derived from the Mk5 Golf GTI. To extract the extra power the block has been reinforced with an entirely new alloy head, uprated pistons, conrods and high-pressure injectors. An uprated turbocharger generates 1.2 bar of boost and a new intercooler helps the engine cope with the extra heat generated. The result is 270PS developed at 6,000rpm and 258 lbs ft of torque at 2,500rpm.
The powerful new Golf R has new 345mm diameter front brake discs (rear: 310 mm) and callipers. The uprated suspension has been lowered by 25mm with revised spring and damper rates, and there are new anti-roll bars.
The Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) has been revised with two stages designed for track use, and the electro-mechanical power steering system has been tweaked to sharpen its response.
Unlike the four-wheel-drive system fitted to the R32, which relied on differing wheel speeds between the front and rear axles, the Golf R uses a pre-charged hydraulic system that reacts quicker and reduces wheelspin by limiting the torque channelled through either axle. In extreme cases, up to 100 per cent of the torque can be channelled to the rear wheels if required.
To set the Golf R apart from a conventional Golf or GTI it's fitted with new front and rear bumpers with LED running lights at the front and a gloss black diffuser at the rear, which houses a pair of central exhausts. The new car is fitted with Xenon headlights, a new black grille, wing mirrors and a set of sill extensions. The Golf R is fitted with 18-inch five-spoke wheels with 225/40 tyres as standard - 19-inch wheels with 235/35 tyres are optional. At the back, unique rear light units lend the Golf R an aggressive look - the high-intensity LED bulbs are hidden behind smoked lenses.
The Golf R has a set of distinctive aluminium 'R' kick plates, and new seats finished in grey Alcantara and contrasting high-grip black mesh cloth. Gloss-black highlights throughout the interior are complemented by the subtle, electric-blue needles in the revised instrument column.
The new Golf R is set to arrive in the UK in December. Prices and specification will be announced nearer the time. View VW Lease Car Prices with main Volkswagen main dealerships.