Apparently not all big debuts happen at the Detroit Auto Show. Volkswagen made a splash at the Montreal Auto Show, by showing, for the first time in North America, the Euro-spec Golf R. First unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show last year, VW has yet to confirm this model for production in North America, but the fact that it’s being shown here means the German automaker is testing the waters.
In a statement Volkswagen Canada said that it, “brings this Concept vehicle to Montreal to gauge public reaction and solicit feedback in order to determine the desirability of a premium performance model like the Golf R Concept for sale in the Canadian market at some point in the future.”
A step above the GTI, the Ruses the same turbocharged 4-cylinder engine as found in the Audi TTS and makes 265-hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque. Combined with an all-wheel drive 4MOTION setup, VW claims a 0-62 mph time of just 5.5 seconds!
In addition, the Golf R gets a stiffer and lower suspension, larger and more powerful brakes, a special aero kit and dual exhaust tips. Inside there are new sport seats, special aluminum pedals and a flat-bottom steering wheel.
Sold for €36,400 in Europe, that would equate to over $50,000 based on current exchange rates. Realistically, however, a U.S. spec Golf R (or GTI R) is more likely to be slightly less well-equipped (meaning you can forget those nicely bolstered seats) and retail for closer to $30,000.
GALLERY: Volkswagen Golf R
Official release after the jump:
Volkswagen Unveils “Top Golf” in Montreal
North American Premiere of the Golf R Concept
Montreal, QC ––– Volkswagen Canada held the North American premiere of its “Top Golf” today at the Montreal International Auto Show. Named the Golf R Concept, Volkswagen unveiled this 3-door “Hot Hatch” that produces 265 HP and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.5 seconds while consuming only 8.4 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres* traveled to the automotive media.
“The new Golf R Concept is the “Top Golf” – the best in the overall combination of acceleration, top speed, fuel-economy, handling, performance, and distinctive features for a vehicle in the compact segment,” announced John White, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group Canada Inc. at today’s press conference. ”Our commitment to leadership in the environment is matched with our drive to be leaders in innovation and technology. This automotive passion, even in an era of downsizing, still has something to do with power and performance.”
On the heels of its world premiere last September at the IAA in Frankfurt, Germany, the Golf R Concept follows Volkswagen’s strategy of creating premium performance package versions of some its models as R models. Other models available in Europe include the Passat R36, Touareg R50, and the Scirocco R.
R models are packaged with substantial upgrades which include: more powerful engines, advanced powertrains, suspension and steering modifications, stronger brakes, aerodynamic
improvements, special sport seating, and unique exterior and interior aesthetic upgrades. This R model was conceptualized by Volkswagen Individual, Volkswagen’s special customizing and tuning arm in Germany.
Driven by its 2.0 litre, 4-cylinder TSI direct engine gasoline engine that has a specific power of 133 HP per litre and a maximum of 258 lbs-ft of torque from 2,500 to 5,000 RPM, the Golf R Concept is capable of covering 1,000 metres (1 km) in 25.4 seconds and of reaching an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h.
TSI Engine of the Golf R Concept
The EA113 series direct-injection gasoline engine is used in the new Golf R, with a turbocharger that makes it very flexible and variable right up into the highest performance ranges. The engine’s power can be spontaneously summoned in the blink of an eye throughout its speed range. The engine also impressively underscores its potential acoustically, as well as visually: its two chrome tailpipes can be seen at the centre of the bumper under the diffuser integrated there – an “R trait”.
The four-cylinder engine develops its tremendous propulsive power via a turbocharger (up to 1.2 bar boost pressure) with intercooling. The engine, with a weight of just 152 kilograms, is controlled by a fully electronic engine management system with E-Gas. The cylinders of the four-cylinder engine have been equipped with reinforcing bolts. Also designed to be stronger are the connecting rods, so that they can transfer the engine’s high torque to the crankshaft. Last but not least, the cylinder block is also reinforced to handle the aggressive engine forces.
New all-wheel drive on the Golf R Concept
As standard equipment, the Golf R transfers the TSI’s power to the road via the latest generation of Volkswagen’s 4MOTION all-wheel drive system. The system underwent significant advanced development versus the previous version found in the Golf R32.
Above all, power transmission between the front and rear axles – especially the all-wheel differential that operates in an oil bath – exhibits clear advances. The most important one: Activation of the all-wheel differential no longer requires a difference in speeds between the front and rear axles. For the first time an electric pump is used to build pressure. The electric pump supplies oil to a hydraulic reservoir whose working pressure is 30 bar.
A control module computes the ideal drive torque for the rear axle and controls, via a valve, to determine how much oil pressure is applied to the working pistons of the multi-plate clutch. The contact pressure at the clutch plates rises in proportion to the desired torque at the rear axle. The amount of torque that is transferred can be varied continuously with the magnitude of the pressure applied to the clutch plates. The system operates independent of slip since the system’s working pressure is always available.
When starting up and accelerating, this prevents spinning of the wheels at the front axle more effectively, since the control module regulates the torque distribution based on dynamic axle loads. In extreme cases, nearly 100 percent of the drive torque can be directed to the rear axle, resulting in further gains in active safety and dynamic performance.
Sport chassis and brakes on the Golf R
When it came to the chassis, development engineers were able to adapt the first-class system in the current production Golf. In front, one finds the familiar McPherson strut suspension with helical springs and telescoping shock absorbers, and at the rear, a multi-link suspension ensures that the standard Electronic Stabilization Programme (ESP) rarely needs to intervene. Nonetheless, the basic layout is transformed into a sport chassis with ride-height lowered by 25 millimetres, and the springs, dampers and stabilizers are completely re-tuned to match.
The brake system is also modified for the higher level of driving performance on the Golf R Concept. In place of a 16-inch system, a 17-inch brake system is used with internally ventilated discs all around and R-specific brake calipers painted a high-gloss black with R logo. The front discs are 345 millimetres in diameter, and 310 millimetres at the rear. The ESP is also modified, and can be switched to a new Sport mode via the ESP button. During very fast and curve-filled drives – as on a track circuit – the ESP system delays intervention, enabling even more responsive handling properties.
The electromechanical power-assisted steering of the Golf R Concept is also given a sportier characteristic. If the sports car is ordered with the optional DCC (dynamic chassis control) option, the power-assisted steering even assumes a specially tuned characteristic for each of the system’s driving modes (Sport, Normal, and Comfort).
The chassis maintains contact with the road through its standard newly designed 18-inch alloy wheels (“Talladega” type) with 225/40 tires. As an option, the same wheels are available in a 19-inch version with 235/35 tires.
Exterior features of the Golf R Concept
Like the first two generations of the Super Golf (I starting in 2002, II in 2005) and the new sister model, the Scirocco R, the new Golf R Concept sports a completely modified set of exterior and interior features. Volkswagen designers, led by Klaus Bischoff, have given the Golf R Concept an independent image with a bundle of well-coordinated refinements.
The Golf R Concept unmistakably marks the peak of the model series, and the quality of its styling follows the basic design language of “La Semplicità” set forth by the Head of Group Design, Walter de Silva.
Outside, the customization includes new wheels and brakes as well as new bumper designs. In front, three very large air intakes characterize the Golf R Concept in the bumper area; the louvers on the intakes are painted in high-gloss black, and standard LED strips which serve as daytime running lights are integrated in the two outer air intakes.
Also painted in high-gloss black are the two louvers of the radiator grille. Placed on the right side of the grille is the newly designed R logo in chrome. Bi-Xenon headlights, included without surcharge, illuminate the way through the night. On its sides, the Golf R is identified by its Talladega wheels, side skirt extensions in body colour, and mirror housings painted in high-gloss black.
It is also possible to recognize the Golf R Concept as an independent top model at the rear. Along with the bumper with diffuser and tailpipes, R logo and larger roof edge spoiler, the newly developed taillights stand out. They operate with standard, distinctive LED technology, with covers that are also smoked.
Interior features of the Golf R Concept
The sixth generation Volkswagen Golf, with its high-end interior materials, breaks through boundaries to the next higher class. The Golf R Concept also benefits from this quality image; it is in a league of its own based on its power reserves. Additional special upgrades developed by Volkswagen Individual underscore the car’s high-class positioning.
A key equipment option here is the newly designed “Top Sport seat system” with its excellent ergonomic properties. The driver just sits down, adjusts the seat longitudinally and in height, adjusts the steering wheel, buckles up, and is ready to go. The seat fits as though tailor-made. Together with the similarly customized Golf GTI, the Golf R Concept sets standards here among the international competition.
The centre panels of the sport seats are upholstered in the honeycomb textured grey-black “Kyalami” design – named after the race course by the same name in South Africa.
The front edge of the seat is upholstered in Titan Black fabric, while the inside panels of the side supports are upholstered with crystal-grey “San Remo” micro-fibres. The rest of the seat components and the roof liner are coloured black. The new R logo is embroidered in the front head restraints as well. Motorsport shell seats for driver and front passenger are also available as an option.
In this case, the centre seat panels are up holstered in the “San Remo” microfibre fabric. On the outside, the shell seats are covered with black leather. All seams of the interior are in “Art Grey”; this is also true of the decorative seams on the three-spoke leather steering wheel. Perforated leather is used at the top and bottom of the steering wheel, ensuring maximum hand grip. The sides of the steering wheel featuring ergonomic motor sport attributes are covered by continuous leather.
Spokes in fine black piano paint add an elegant aspect to complete the sporty image. The centre steering wheel spoke bears the new R logo. The fascinating material contrast of piano paint and chrome conveys an image of the passion for finesse and precision in every detail.
Other new design features include the R gearshift knob, carpet floor mats, aluminum door tread plates with R logo, and the instruments with their blue pointers. Stainless steel sport pedals and R-specific instrument and door accents in “Silver Lane” style complete the customization. Another standard feature on the Golf R Concept is an automatic climate control system (“Climatronic”), “RCD 310” radio-CD system (4 × 20 Watt) including MP3 player plus dual tuners.
The Golf R went on order in Germany last fall and begins at a price of €36,400. Volkswagen Canada brings this Concept vehicle to Montreal to gauge public reaction and solicit feedback in order to determine the desirability of a premium performance model like the Golf R Concept for sale in the Canadian market at some point in the future.
* Fuel consumption based on a combined cycle using European testing methods.