The History of the Volkswagen Golf R: The Changes Which Helped Develop a Desirable Sports Car
After its release in 1974, the Volkswagen Golf rapidly became a very popular choice for a wide audience. A compact, average-sized hatchback offered a decent driving experience, and it was everything most drivers needed without any doubt. Regardless of that, there also were a more demanding group of drivers, who wanted some extraordinary driving feelings. Luckily, a year later, Volkswagen debuted the Volkswagen Golf GTI MK1. Compared to a regular Volkswagen Golf MK1, the GTI version had better performance capabilities, a more powerful engine, and some additional design elements such as red trims around the car’s body.
More efficient and powerful engine
Every other Volkswagen Golf generation also had an upgraded GTI version, until 2002, when the Volkswagen Golf R series was established. The letter R, in this case, marked the newly developed R32 engine, which generated more than 238 bhp. At that time, the Volkswagen R32 MK4 was full of brand-new technologies, like various safety, luxurious, performance features, and even a dual-clutch gearbox. In short, this car had absolutely everything Volkswagen had to offer at that time. The Volkswagen Golf R32 MK4 was capable of reaching the speed of 100 km/h (62mph) in 6.6 seconds. In comparison, nowadays the latest Golf R can do that in 4.6 seconds.
The production of the Volkswagen Golf R32 MK4 was stopped in 2005 when the Volkswagen Golf R32 MK5 took its place. The visual part of the car was modernized. It helped to show that the manufacturer is able to adapt to the changing car market fast enough. According to the manufacturer, some slight changes were implemented in the engine as well. The changes made the engine a little bit more powerful and reliable. There were only 5000 units of the Volkswagen Golf MK5 made, and each of them had a specific serial number sign on the steering wheel.
The completely new era
As time passed, the engines became more and more powerful. For example, in 2009 the Volkswagen Golf R MK6 was presented and it had 266 bhp. This time the manufacturer invented a completely new engine instead of using the same R32 model. The new four-cylinder turbocharged engine had a capacity of only two litters. Thanks to higher-quality vw parts, lower engine capacity meant a lower and better-optimized fuel consumption.
Rapidly growing technological improvements also made a large impact on the reliability of the Volkswagen Golf R MK7, which was started producing in 2012. This model was so successful that the manufacturer continued its production until 2020. It was also powered by a 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but the modifications of the transmission system made it even faster than its previous version. Perfect performance capabilities and features made this car the main competitor of the Audi S3.
The model we have today
The latest Volkswagen Golf R MK8 model is faster and better than ever before. A lot of new solutions were implemented to make this sports car more desirable. For example, despite the fact that the Golf R MK8 is a four-wheel drive, the electronic differential control system allows transferring different amounts of power to the front and rear wheel axles. This solution is commonly used for drift sessions. The true legacy of Volkswagen R design remained for decades. Today the same red trims around the front grilles and other parts make Golf R cars recognizable and desirable just like in the past.