With 290 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf R will make its North American debut in Detroit.
The car will reach U.S. dealers as a five-door hatchback (rather than the three-door pictured) in the first quarter of 2015 and is expected to offer significant fuel efficiency gains over the previous Golf R although official U.S. estimates are still unreleased. Despite lacking an EPA rating, Volkswagen says it expects the car will return 31 highway mpg on the U.S. cycle compared to 27 with the 2013 model. The company initially debuted the new 2015 Golf R during the Frankfurt Motor Show last September.
As you likely remember, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine pushes it to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds when mated to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission or in 5.3 when paired with a manual. Power is distributed constantly to all four wheels as it was with previous versions of the car.
Full torque comes on between 1,800 and 5,500 rpm, at which point the engine, which is an enhanced version of the same powerplant used in the GTI, reaches its peak horsepower.
But those aren’t the only enhancements the car gets. A more aggressive steering ratio that locks after 2.1 turns versus 2.75 with less powerful models along with a “progressive” variable ratio steering system. The stability control can be de-activated for track driving and the car comes with chassis enhancements for better handling. Compared to the GTI, it also sits 0.2 inches lower (or 0.8 below the normal Golf).
It also comes with 18-inch wheels, a more aggressive body kit, and bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and a four-tip exhaust.
Four drive modes – comfort, normal, individual and race – can be selected by the driver and have been specifically tuned for the Golf R. In race mode, damping is increased and shift points are reconfigured for track driving as is the engine response.
Stopping gear is also upgraded with 13.4-inch rotors and 2.4-inch brake pistons in the front along with 12.2-inch rotors in the rear with 1.7-inch pistons.
The cabin is also upgraded with nappa leather trimmed sport seats, special “carbon touch” dashboard inlays, a three-spoke steering wheel and a special gauge cluster.
GALLERY: 2015 Volkswagen Golf R
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