Normally, after being named Motor Trend’s 2015 Car of the Year, you would think that the Volkswagen Golf is clearly one of the car mag’s sweethearts, no matter what version. With the 2015 Golf R model having been recently launched in the U.S. - with a resounding success, I might add - Motor Trend put one to the test in order to see if the hype surrounding it translates to the real world. The Golf R review above sees Carlos Lago take the new hot hatch on a trip into the mountains, while also putting the model through Motor Trends’s standard array of track tests.

Starting at a not-too-friendly $36,595 MSRP, the most powerful production Golf in history is theoretically aimed at cars like the Subaru WRX STI, which also comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, all-wheel-drive and around 300 horsepower. Unlike the Subie, the Golf R is FWD-biased though, with the rear axle only getting up to 50 percent of the available power through a Haldex differential.

Its turbocharged, 2.0-liter engine is slightly detuned for the U.S. market, delivering 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and the first batch of models will be delivered with a six-speed, dual-clutch transmission only. On the whole, Carlos Lago seems impressed with the car, especially since, for the first time, its electronic stability control system can be switched off. That said, being approximately $10,000 more expensive than the FWD-only GTI with the Performance Package doesn’t make a very good case for the Golf R.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R

2016 Volkswagen Golf R High Resolution Exterior
- image 613750
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