The LA Motor Show is renowned for being full of surprises, and with Volkswagen unveiling one of the sportiest all-rounders in the compact class in the shape of their new Golf R Estate, it certainly lived up to its name. No one was expecting a Golf R with an estate bodystyle, but this new VW manages to combine the high performance, driveability and comfort of the Golf R hatchback, which was only launched in March this year, with the spacious boot of the Golf Estate.
It’s a shock: but a nice one.
Based on the Golf R hatchback, the Golf R Estate has much in common, starting off with the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged TSI petrol engine which develops 300 PS from 5,500 to 6,200 rpm, has a maximum torque of 380 Nm from just 1,800 rpm right up to 5,500 rpm and a standard six-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) to the permanent 4MOTION all-wheel drive. No problems with power then, with it being distributed across all four wheels, guaranteeing maximum traction, performance and active safety.
Ensuring dynamic performance are The sport suspension has been lowered by 20 mm to make sure any performance is, at the very least, dynamic; and if the driver wishes to make use of the power and the glory on a racetrack, Volkswagen’s innovative progressive steering system and ‘ESC Sport’ mode can be deactivated. (There is an optional Race mode available within the newest generation of the DCC adaptive chassis control system.)
The Golf R Estate’s engine takes just 3.8 seconds to reach 50mph from standing (and 5.1 seconds to 62mph) with an electronically limited top speed of the usual 155 mph. Yet, despite all this speed and power, the Golf R Estate has a fuel economy consumes of just 40.4 mpg and CO2 emissions of 163 g/km.
Being an estate there is no compromise on space, despite the obvious speed enhancements, with a luggage capacity of 605 litres (up to the back seat backrest); enough for 5 people and their luggage. Without them, the back seats lay down to give a capacity of 1,620 litres.
As we said before, the Golf R Estate follows a lot of the Golf hatchback, even in looks – up to the B-pillars, where it all changes. Then the Estate looks take over to stand the new car apart from the rest of the Estate range with a new R design bumper, a high-gloss black diffuser, four chrome-plated tailpipe trims, so-called ‘aero flaps’ on the D-pillars, cherry-red taillights and LED number plate illumination. Changes at the front include the entirely expected R specific bumper with particularly large air inlets, plus a distinctive radiator grille (with R logo) as well as bi-xenon headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights that form a distinctive dual ‘U’ design beneath the dual headlights, ready to project a particularly striking light pattern during the day and at night.
To distinguish the Golf Estate range-topper even more, Volkswagen have added in R-style body-coloured side sill panels along with R logos on the front bumpers and matt chrome door mirror caps. Unique to the R model are distinctive 18” ‘Cadiz’ alloy wheels before the whole R look is finished off with black-painted brake callipers with an R logo. (Optional 19” ‘Pretoria’ flow-formed wheels – which are exceptionally lightweight and sturdy – in a motorsport design are also available.)
Inside the cabin, the Golf R Estate retains the Alcantara upholstery, R logos on the seats and steering wheel, high level of standard equipment and blue highlights in the ambient lighting and dash dials of the original R Hatchback – ensuring that the feeling you got in the original is now transfered to te newbie.
UK Retailers are due to start taking orders for the new car in spring 2015, with first deliveries in the summer – so check here first for all those details.