Arguably the most awaited performance Volkswagen in the U.S. in recent years, the 2015 Golf R has just received an official pre-order date, when the first 500 units of the model will start being secured by customers who pay a $500 reservation fee. While not part of a limited-edition model per se, the first 500 cars will come with some distinctive features compared to the rest of the "plebes," including a Volkswagen R watch, a carbon-fiber and stainless-steel keychain and a special certificate, all of them being obviously serialized.

Other than that, all cars will be identical from every point of view, including the Lapiz Blue Metallic paint, 19-inch Cadiz light-alloy wheels, DSG dual clutch gearbox, DCC adaptive damping and a navigation system as standard features. In this spec, all of the first 500 Volkswagen Golf Rs have a starting MSRP of $39,090 without the destination and delivery charge.

The pre-order will go live on January 8, 2015 at vw.com/golfr,, where customers will be able to pay the reservation fee through the Amazon Payments platform after selecting the dealer for the car’s delivery. In case they change their mind, the $500 spent are apparently fully refundable, so it will be interesting what happens in the first few days after the start of the pre-order program.

As a refresher, the U.S. variant of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf R is powered by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that develops 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. You don’t need to be a mathematician to realize that those figures are enough to brand it as the most-powerful production Golf ever sold in America.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf R.

Why it matters

Coming in standard with all-wheel drive, a turbocharged four-cylinder under the hood, a compact size and almost 300 horsepower, many would see the Volkswagen Golf R as a Subaru WRX STI competitor in a hatchback suit, but they would be a little far from the actual truth. This is because the Golf R is simply a much faster and maybe a little bit more track capable Golf GTI, with which it also shares much of its Audi-designed EA888 engine.

Thanks to the all-wheel-drive system with Haldex coupling and the launch-control feature of its DSG dual-clutch transmission with six speeds, the most-powerful Golf can catapult its passengers from naught to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds, actually making it faster than the WRX STI in a straight line. Unfortunately, because of its better standard equipment and partly because of brand image, the Golf R is also more expensive than just about every one of its rivals on the American market, especially when equipped with the rather important adaptive damping system and sat nav.

Unlike the previous generation though, Volkswagen only detuned it by 4 horsepower compared to the European variant of the model, making for a rather interesting package when it hits U.S. showrooms in 2015. The only thing left to find out will be how many of those first 500 customers will try and pre-order the Golf R right on January 8th. It falls on a Friday, by the way.

Volkswagen Golf R

2016 Volkswagen Golf R High Resolution Exterior
- image 537639

Press Release

Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced the opportunity for customers to pre-order one of the first 500 available 2015 Golf R models, the most powerful production Golf ever offered in the U.S. The pre-order will go live on VW.com/GolfR on January 8th and customers can secure their place in line by paying a $500 reservation fee.

The first 500 Golf R models will be identical: the topline Golf R with DCC® & Nav and the six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission. All the cars will be painted in Lapiz Blue Metallic and feature the 292 horsepower 2.0-liter TSI® engine; 19-inch “Cadiz” aluminum-alloy wheels and summer performance tires; 4Motion® all-wheel drive; Bi-Xenon headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights; DCC® adaptive damping system; Park Distance Control; a navigation system; and the Fender® Premium Audio System. The Golf R with DCC & Nav has a starting MSRP of $39,090, plus $820 destination and delivery charge.

These first 500 owners will receive an exclusive, numbered Volkswagen Driver Gear R accessory kit, which consists of:

An exclusive, serialized Volkswagen R watch
A serialized carbon fiber and stainless steel keychain
A serialized and VIN-specific certificate

There will only be 500 of these Volkswagen R accessory kits ever made available to customers, and these will be serialized to match the VINs of the Golf R pre-Order vehicles.

Through the 2015 Golf R pre-order program, customers pay a $500 reservation fee that goes towards the final purchase of their 2015 Golf R model. The simple program involves the following steps: customers access the pre-order site at VW.com/GolfR, enter their contact information (including zip code) and review key program terms; select a dealer for retail delivery; enter and confirm billing information through the Amazon Payments® platform; and finally, receive the R accessories kit once the vehicle is reported sold by the dealer. The $500 reservation fee is fully refundable.

Once all 500 vehicles have been claimed through the pre-Order process, customers will have the option to get on a wait-list through VW.com/GolfR, should any existing consumers cancel their reservation.

With 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque from its turbocharged and direct-injection EA888 TSI® engine, the new Golf R has 36 hp and 37 lb-ft more than the previous version. Despite the additional power and torque, the new R model is considerably more fuel-efficient than its predecessor with an EPA estimated highway fuel economy rating of 30 mpg with the six-speed DSG® transmission, up from 27 mpg for the previous, manual-transmission model.

Like all previous Golf R models, the new model transfers its power to the road via a permanent all-wheel-drive system; in this case, the latest version of the 4Motion® system with a fifth-generation Haldex® coupling. To help ensure great chassis dynamics, there’s a new sport suspension, the progressive variable-ratio steering system, and the ESC Sport stability control system, which can now be deactivated for track driving. Other highlights include the DCC adaptive damping system that is standard on the Golf R with DCC & Nav.

The six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission offers a launch control feature, enabling the car to complete the 0 to 60 mph sprint in just 4.9 seconds. The top track speed is 155 mph.

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