As before, the car makes use of a permanent all-wheel-drive system that provides excellent grip in a variety of conditions. The system uses a fifth-generation Haldex coupling for increased performance. The new sport suspension setup combines with a variable-ratio steering system, and an advanced stability control system for excellent handling characteristics. Owners who want to take the car to the track can deactivate stability control.
Under the hood is an EA888 turbocharged and direct injected four-cylinder TSI 2.0-liter engine. Peak torque output is estimated at 280 lb.-ft. It works with a six-speed manual transmission for a quick 0 to 62 mph time of 5.3 seconds, which is 0.4 seconds quicker than before. With the optional six-speed DSC dual-clutch automatic transmission, the faster shift times result in an acceleration time of just 4.9 seconds.
A number of exterior features distinguish the model from its performance-oriented sibling, the GTI. The 18-inch aluminum wheels, side skirts, and bumpers all are unique to the model. Unlike the GTI, the Golf R features U-shaped LED running light arrays, Bi-Xenon headlights, and four chrome exhaust tips to further distinguish it. In addition, the interior features leather upholstery, unique instruments, and a sport steering wheel.
For now, Volkswagen enthusiasts will have to wait for the new model. According to VW, the new Golf R releases sometime in the first quarter of 2015.