48 hours, 1,600km and a VW Golf R

Story, Photos and Videos by Benjamin G. Kline
26 Jun 2014


Having done a road trip with the last Golf R in 2012, it seemed fitting when our turn with the new Golf R came up that we should celebrate it with yet another epic road trip across Malaysia. And with the launch of the new Penang bridge in March this year, it was enough reason for us to set our GPS for Penang Island.

Except that with the bridge being so new, neither our Garmin GPS nor Google Maps has it registered as yet. So as far as both of these maps were concerned, we were attempting to skip across the sea with the Golf R. Obviously as you can tell from the photos, we did find the bridge in the end and we'll share with you how later in the article.

What could possibly be so enticing about a bridge that would spur us on a 723 kilometer journey just to see it? For starters, the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge (yes, it's quite a mouthful.) is the longest bridge in Malaysia as well as Southeast Asia and stretches 24 kilometers with 16.9km of it over the Malacca Straits.

Built at a cost of RM4.5 billion (S$1.74B) with a hefty loan from China, it is an engineering marvel in itself and took almost six years to complete. Perhaps not as iconic as the Millau Bridge in France but it is no less majestic when seen in person.

Combine that with the keys to the latest Volkswagen Golf R and you’ll begin to understand why the 1,600km round trip no longer sounds daunting. Besides, it seemed cruel to confine the 280bhp Autobahn bred hatch to driving it around in circles on our tiny island. And there’s no better way to know a car than with an extended road trip that takes you through a smorgasbord of different road conditions that'll give you a complete picture of what you’re driving. 

But to make our trip that much more interesting, we threw in a detour to Cameron Highlands on the way back to ensure the new Golf is properly broken in on the mountain roads. 

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Engine Capacity 1984cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 280bhp @ 5700rpm
Torque 380Nm @ 1750rpm
Power to Weight 187.3 bhp per ton


Acceleration 5s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 250 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 14.1 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed DSG
Drive Type F4
Steering Electric


Body Type 5 Door Hatch
(L x W x H)
(4726 x 1790 x 1436) mm
Wheelbase 2632 mm
Kerb Weight 1495 kg
Boot Capacity 343 L
Boot Capacity (folded) 1233 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 55 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs