R you the extreme Golf?

Volkswagen has once again utilized the ubiquitous EA113 2-litre TSI turbocharged four from the Mk V GTI for the R. The Mk 6 GTI's EA888 motor wasn't used as it hasn't been developed enough for higher output applications like in the Golf R.

Like in the Golf R's Audi S3 Sportback cousin, the forced induced four pot musters 256bhp and 350Nm. Disappointingly though, the Golf R's unit has been detuned for the Singapore market to churn out 256bhp instead if the 270 horses it makes in most other markets - that's a full 14bhp less if you're a bit slow with your mental sums!

Nevertheless, activate launch control (there's no ‘Launch Control' button in here. You'd have to know how to activate it on your own!) and the R will rocket off the line to reach 100km/h in 5.7 seconds. Thanks to all-wheel drive, traction off the line is impressive - there's no wheel spin, just a slight chirp from the protesting tyres as the R jets off into the distance. 5.7 seconds for a 0-100km/h time is pretty quick considering that the GTI takes 6.9 seconds and its R32 predecessor 6.2 seconds to do the same.

The 2-litre unit's power delivery isn't as linear and even as the R32's 3189cc unit - there isn't replacement for displacement after all when it comes to linear power delivery. The R's unit suffers from a small hint of turbo lag below 2500rpm, after which it will pull like a train all the way to the engine's redline. In fact, top end power is extremely strong, something that can't be said of the GTI's lump.

When I test drove the Mk 5 R32 four years back, I noted that the Mk 5 GTI's four-cylinder motor can't deliver the sheer aural delight of the R32's V6. The VW six-pot might not be as sweet revving as say, BMW's in-line six unit but the noise it makes, together with the extremely loud and burbling exhaust note is simply intoxicating. Disappointingly, the R's four-pot unit can't replicate this. The exhaust and induction note is louder than a GTI's but it is no where near as sweet sounding as the R32's V6 or even as sporty sounding as its similarly engined but more powerful Audi TTS cousin. Moreover, there's an irritating exhaust drone when cruising at about 2000rpm, something some rear passengers might find especially unbearable.


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Engine Capacity 1984cc
Engine Type V 4
Power 256bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 330Nm @ 5200rpm
Power to Weight 177 bhp per ton


Acceleration 5.7s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 250 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 11.9 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed DSG
Drive Type F4


Body Type 5 Door Hatch
(L x W x H)
(4212 x 1779 x 1461) mm
Wheelbase 2578 mm
Turning Circle 10.9 metres
Kerb Weight 1446 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 55 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs