Volkswagen is already offering a Convertible and a GTI Convertible for their Golf line, so it would be ridiculous not to apply the same treatment to the most powerful model in the Golf line-up: the R version. The model is expected to make its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month, but Volkswagen already offered the first details on the model.
The new Golf R Convertible has been described as "the first-ever open-top R model and the fastest-ever production open-top Golf," and it pretty much offers the same features as the hatchback version. The difference will be of course its fully electric insulated hood that can be lowered in 9.5 seconds and raised in 11 seconds at speed up to 18 mph.
Updated 02/07/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs. Hit the jump to read more about the new Volkswagen Golf R Convertible.
Just like with the Golf R hatchback, the new Convertible version will get a distinctive exterior treatment that will help you distinguish it from the GTI version. These new elements include a bespoke front bumper with gloss-black grille and "R" logo, side-sill extensions and a gloss-black rear diffuser framed by chrome-tipped exhausts either side.
The model will also be equipped with LED daytime running lights, bi-xenon headlights with black housings and smoked LED taillights.
Just like with the rest of the Golf Convertible models, the new Golf R will get a fully electric insulated convertible top, easily to operate via a switch in the center console. The hood can be lowered at speeds up to 18 mph in just 9.5 seconds and then raised in 11 seconds.
For the interior, the new Golf R gets four individual sports seats in "Vienna Cool Leather" with very cool "R" logos in the head restraints. Other R-distinctive elements include the leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, handbrake grip and gear lever - all offered with contrasting grey stitching.
For an even sportier feeling, Volkswagen added brushed-aluminum caps and "Silver Lane" aluminum decorative inlays in the doors and dashboard.
As standard features, the new Golf R will offer an RCD 310 DAB radio with MDI and Bluetooth telephone connectivity.
Just like with the hatchback version, the new Golf R Convertible will be powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 261 horsepower. The engine will send its power to the rear wheels via a standard six-speed DSG gearbox.
The new Golf R Convertible will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.4 seconds and will go up to a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited).
|Engine|| 2.0-Liter Turbocharged |
|Output|| 261 Horsepower |
|Transmission|| Six-speed DSG Gearbox |
|Acceleration (0-60 mph)|| 6.4 seconds |
|Top Sped|| 155 mph |
Suspension and Brakes
When compared to the standard Golf Convertible, the new R version received bespoke "R" suspension that lower the car’s ride by 25 mm (0.98 inches).
The car will be offered with 18 or 19-inch "Talladega" alloy wheels offered in either ’Sterling Silver’ or optionally ’High-gloss Black’ and combined with black-painted brake calipers with R logo.
In the British market, the new Golf R Convertible is priced at £38,770 (about $60k at the current exchange rates). Prices for the U.S. version will be announced at a later date.
Looking for a competitor for the new Golf R Convertible can be pretty difficult because neither the Subaru Impreza WRX STI nor Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution hatchbacks offer a convertible version. This means that when it’s put on sale in the U.S. market, the new Golf R Convertible will be pretty much a model without competition. Still, after hard looking on the market, you will find some alternatives.
BMW 1-Series Convertible
Here we are strictly sticking to the BMW 128i Convertible, as the rest of the models offered in the U.S. market are considerable more powerful than Golf R.
The 128i is powered by a 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder that delivers all its 230 horsepower to the rear wheels. The model will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.4 seconds — same as the Golf R — but its top speed is limited to 130 mph. Still, the 128i is priced at $36,900, which we assume will be cheaper than the Golf R (taking under consideration that it will be more expansive than the Golf R hatchback priced at $33,990).
2013 Fiat 500c Abarth
Yes, we know the Abarth 500C only delivers 160 horsepower - almost 100 horsepower less than the Golf R Convertible - but the 0 to 60 mph sprint is made in about the same time: 6.7 seconds. Also, you have to consider that the Abarth 500C is considerably cheaper than the Golf R: $26,000. However, it does not offer the same practicality as the Volkswagen model, due in part to its small stature.
The new Golf R Convertible is the first-ever open-top R model and the fastest-ever production open-top Golf. That gives it a huge leg up in the market, but we still wonder if it is worth the big price tag that we expect to see. This is doubly important if you are in a market, like the UK, where it is rather expensive.
Fastest-ever production open-top Golf
Looks very cool
Quite a high price for the British market
Meet the new Golf R Cabriolet, the first-ever open-top R model and the fastest-ever production open-top Golf. At the heart of the new range-topping cabriolet is a four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine producing 265 PS, connected to a standard six-speed DSG gearbox transmitting power to the front wheels. The new car has an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph, with the benchmark 0-62 mph sprint taking just 6.4 seconds.
Design cues include a bespoke front bumper with gloss-black grille and ‘R’ logo, LED daytime running lights, bi-xenon headlights with black housings, gloss-black door mirror casings and black-painted brake callipers with R logo. Side sill extensions, a gloss black rear diffuser framed by chrome-tipped exhausts either side and smoked LED tail lights complete the look.
Bespoke ‘R’ suspension lowers the ride by 25 mm in comparison with the standard Golf Cabriolet. Wheels are 18- or 19-inch ‘Talladega’ alloy wheels in either ‘Sterling Silver’ or optionally ‘High-gloss Black’.
The interior features four individual sports seats in ‘Vienna Cool Leather’ and ‘R’ logos in the head restraints, while the leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, handbrake grip and gear lever all have contrasting grey stitching. The pedals have brushed aluminium caps, while the doors and dashboard feature ‘Silver Lane’ aluminium decorative inlays.
Standard specification includes RCD 310 DAB radio with MDI (multi-device interface) and Bluetooth telephone connectivity. As on all Golf Cabriolet models, the fully electric insulated hood is operated by a switch in the centre console, and can be lowered in 9.5 seconds at speeds of up to 18 mph (and raised in 11.0 seconds).
The Golf R Cabriolet will be available to order this spring, priced at £38,770 RRP OTR. The Golf Cabriolet range costs from £21,040 for the entry-level S 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS, rising to £30,765 for the GTI 2.0-litre TSI 210 PS with DSG gearbox.