By Sala Masindane
The Volkswagen Golf 8 R’s place at the top has long been cemented that the previous generation had many iterations to ride the wave. So what is left for the German manufacture to prove with Golf but to maintain what has already been a working formula? We spent time with the new Golf 8 R to see if it’s still the top of the tree.
The newcomer sets itself apart from the Golf GTI with ‘R’ design bumpers, model-specific wheels, exterior mirror covers in matt chrome and the optional Akrapovič exhaust, just to mention a few. The exterior design is subtle over normal GTI. However, some cues remind us of what is lurking beneath the skin when taking a closer peep.
Inside, you get a premium, minimalist cabin featuring Nappa leather bucket seats with an ‘R’ logo as well as Carbon Grey decorative trim as standard features. Additional features include keyless entry, head-up display, a panoramic sunroof, and a Discover Pro system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility. Customers who like quality sound can opt for the Harman Kardon sound system.
The cabin offers high-quality materials and the 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen dominates the dash. The minimalist approach means no button knobs but surface-mounted ones. These are not easy to use and require some attention .The interior space is sufficient for five passengers and 374 litre of boot space is decent for smaller families.
Performance and drive
The new Golf R is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 235kW/400Nm, and is paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG). Sending power to all wheels, the Golf 8 R is claimed to accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 4.8 seconds with the top speed capped at 250 km/h.
The range-topper is a willing companion and accelerates effortlessly. The ride quality is smooth and dynamic, especially when conditions are good. Our time was spent mostly driving spiritedly in the city returned a fuel consumption of 10.2l/100km from the claimed 7.8l/100km. Pricing for the new Golf R is yet to be announced.
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