The Volkswagen hatchback has been popular for decades; some might even say that the Golf and Rabbit models inspired American car companies to build similar types of vehicles (the GLH and GLHS come to mind). Over the years as the hatchback’s popularity has come and gone, VW has continued to make 3 and 5-door hatchbacks. What’s more are the fire-breathing versions they produce as part of the model line-up. The latest in the series of road scorching hatches is the 2010 Volkswagen Golf R.

2011 Volkswagen Golf R

2011 Volkswagen Golf R

What is a Golf R? Simply, the Golf R is an all-wheel drive variant that aims to be the quickest, most powerful and take the most out of your wallet. Think of the R designation as similar to the Mercedes AMG, BMW M division or the Audio Quattro models. Don’t worry, the Golf won’t be the only R model for sale, Volkswagen has announced that it will be starting a R performance division. It is about time if you ask me, especially since they have been producing very popular cars like the GTI, Jetta VR6 and Passat W8.

The 2010 Golf R doesn’t disappoint in the performance department either. Reported figures are that the Golf R will reach 0-62 mph in 5.7 seconds and still return miles per gallon figures in the upper 20s. It will also reach its 155-mph governor, but not with the same fire of a pure high-end sports car. That said, there are some quirks with the Golf R and one of those is that the traction control never really turns off. According to the Car and Driver, the Golf R’s traction control will let you get a little wild with it, but in the end it will pull in the reins if it thinks you are passing the point of no return.

Other quirk is found in the DSG automatic transmission. Ironically, it will shave 0.2 seconds off shifting versus a manual transmission, but it will also shift for you if you hit the redline. The final quirk is the one that seems to be the decider of whether this new performance model makes the giant leap across the pond to the U.S. market. That quirk—price. Yes the 2010 Volkswagen Golf R is set to come in at 36,400 euros (basically $50,800). If the car came to the U.S., we would expect to see it have a $10K premium over the $24K base GTI price. Even though it is a little quicker than the GTI, the premium may be too steep to make someone choose one letter over three. For the moment, the Golf R is planned to stay in the EU.


[Source: Car and Driver]