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2024 Volkswagen Golf R brings power boost and new tech

Volkswagen Golf R front three quarter
Volkswagen Golf R front three quarter

Black Edition gains 19in wheels, Performance pack, and a bigger wing

The facelifted Volkswagen Golf R has been unveiled as the German brand’s most potent hot hatch yet, with its turbocharged 2.0-litre four uprated from 316bhp to 329bhp.

That extra 13bhp helps to cut the hatch’s 0-62mph time by 0.1sec to 4.6sec, while the heavier Golf R Estate completes the sprint in 4.8sec.

In addition to more power, the reworked EA888 petrol engine is said to provide sharper responses. The software underpinning the powertrain has also been tweaked: the Comfort drive profile now delivers gearshifts 100rpm later and the engine is said to produce exhaust pops and crackles from around 2500rpm.

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One of the most significant upgrades comes inside, the interior having received a near-total digital overhaul. It gets a slicker and sharper 12.9in infotainment touchscreen as standard, with top and bottom shortcut bars.

Underneath, the touch-sensitive temperature slider is now backlit, addressing a key customer criticism of the pre-facelift Mk8 Golf. The Golf R also gets a special skin for its 10.2in digital instrument screen, which displays a motorsport-inspired horizontal rev counter.

Cars equipped with the Performance package also get a GPS-based lap timer, a g-force meter and a visualiser showing the split of torque to each of the car’s four corners.

In addition, a limited Black Edition trim has joined the Golf R range and offers, as the name suggests, a blacked-out look, along with the Performance package, 19in alloy wheels and a larger roof-mounted spoiler.

European pricing suggests that the facelifted Golf R will be cheaper than the model it replaces, which costs from £44,310 in hatchback form and £46,555 as an estate.

Customer deliveries are due to begin in October. The Mk8.5 Golf R could potentially be the final R-badged car with a combustion engine.

The ninth-generation Golf is set to arrive in four years’ time with electric car powertrains only, and the R division has previously pledged to go all-electric by 2030.

The wider Volkswagen brand will become all-electric by 2035, aligning itself with the EU’s current end date for the sale of new ICE cars.

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