Volkswagen has revisited its hottest model, the Golf R, for the American market. Although we don’t get the same Euro bump to 310 horsepower, we gain a new seven-speed DSG transmission that’s marginally quicker than the last, helping the car to reach faster speeds and better times on the track. The MK7.5 Golf R also gets 17-inch drilled disc brakes and improved aerodynamics, making it more in step with its boy-racer competition, the Subaru WRX STI, and Ford Focus RS.
The Golf R also gets a subtle facelift to differentiate it from the GTI, addressing a common complaint about the two models. Larger front intakes reflect a brassy demeanor that follows the car’s profile all the way back to the rear diffuser. A rear spoiler improves downforce, giving the VW a sportier look while also serving a functional purpose.
The Performance Package doesn’t add any straight line speed, but it’ll still perform 0-60 in 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 166 miles per hour. A set of Pirelli Trofeo R tires are fitted to improve cornering Gs along with the rest of the track-focused additions, improving generously from last year’s model. A titanium Akrapovic exhaust is also in place to add a sporty sound to the high output 2.0L turbo four.