Mark 7 Volkswagen Golf R packs 221kW/380Nm, auto engine start/stop

The new Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance not enough performance hatch for you? Well here’s the Mark VII Golf R, which sends 221kW/380Nm to all four wheels.


Under the new Golf R’s chiselled hood sits the 2-litre turbocharged EA888 petrol engine churning out 221kW of power and 380Nm of torque. That’s up significantly on the 169kW/350Nm available in the Mark VII Golf Performance model and the 188kW/320Nm made by the outgoing Mark VI Golf R.

This will see the Golf R sprint from 0 to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds when equipped with a 6-speed dual-clutch (DSG) transmission or 5.1 seconds with a 6-speed manual; top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h. In official testing the Mark VII Volkswagen Golf R drinks and emits CO2 less than before, with the new model drinking between 6.9 and 7.1L/100km depending on transmission.

For a full comparison between the Mark VI and Mark VII Golf R, check out our handy table below.

The new R sits on 18-inch alloy wheels (19-inch wheels are optional) tied to a tuned suspension that’s 20mm lower than a regular Golf or 5mm lower than the GTI, while all the power and torque goes to all four wheels via an all-wheel drive system that utilises a 4Motion-branded Haldex coupling system. To help the new Golf R steer more truthfully, the Golf R has EDS (electronic differential lock) and XDS+ that can brake each wheel individually or in concert to help the car around corners. There’s also faster steering (although it’s nowhere near as quick as the Ford Focus ST’s) that requires just 2.1 turns to hit lock.

In Europe, at least, the Mark VII Golf R comes standard with bi-xenon headlights, U-shaped LED driving lights, quad chromed exhaust pipes, dark-tinted LED tail-lights, Alcantara trimmed sports seats, leather 3-spoke steering wheel, climate control, touchscreen entertainment system and interior ambient lighting. Fuel saving automatic engine start-stop and battery regeneration are also standard on the new R.

The Mark VII VW Golf R goes on sale in Europe in the final quarter of 2013 in both 3- and 5-door forms.

Power, performance and economy

  Mark VII Mark VI
  Manual DSG Manual DSG
Power 221kW 188kW
Torque 380Nm 320Nm
0-100km/h 5.1s 4.9s 5.9s 5.7s
Top speed 250km/h
Fuel economy ‡ 7.1L/100km 6.9L/100km 8.5L/100km 8.4L/100km
CO2 emissions 165g/km 159g/km 199g/km 195g/km

‡ EU figures

Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]