Volkswagen's Golf R hot hatch has been given a practical, wagon makeover for the Los Angeles Auto Show. The Golf R Wagon will sprint from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.1 seconds, but still has space for the family in the back – and their dog in the boot.
The Golf R Wagon is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder motor that produces 221 kW (296 hp) and 380 Nm (280 lb.ft) of torque between 1,800 and 5,500 rpm. Power is translated to the road by Volkswagen's 4MOTION all-wheel drive system, while a six-speed DSG gearbox is standard.
In normal driving, the R's all-wheel drive system sends power to the front wheels to help save fuel, but a Haldex coupling will fire power toward the rear wheels when needed. Backing this system up are VW's own XDS differentials at both axles, which can brake individual wheels to cut down on understeer.
Although the R Wagon will sprint from 0-100 km/h in 5.1 seconds, it still returns 7.0 l/100km (34 mpg) on the New European Drive Cycle test, with CO2 emissions of 163 g/km.
Extra power aside, then Golf R Wagon is fitted with a similar set of styling upgrades to the Golf R Hatch. The R sits 20 mm (0.8 in) lower than other Golf wagons, and is fitted with a new bodykit that includes a new gloss black rear diffuser, more aggressive front air intakes and chromed quad exhaust tips.
The whole package sits on 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, wrapped in 225/40 tires.
Like its hatchback cousin, the Golf R Wagon is fitted with a quick variable ratio steering rack that needs just 2.1 turns from lock-to-lock, as opposed to 2.76 in the standard wagon. Choosing the R also gives you a stability control system that can be turned completely off, or relaxed in "sport" mode to allow a bit of action before cutting in
Inside, the Golf R Wagon's interior will be familiar for anyone who has sat in a Mk.7 Golf, although the R follow a slightly more luxurious approach than that taken on standard cars. VW's sport seats are trimmed in fabric and Alcantara (leather is optional), while R-specific kick plates and pedals provide another point of difference between this Golf and its slower brethren.
Looking to the back of the car reveals a load bay that can hold 605 liters (21.4 cubic feet) when the seats are up, or 1,620 liters (57.2 cubic feet) with them folded flat. The Golf hatchback will only hold 380 liters, so choosing the wagon provides a massive increase in load space.
Despite making its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, there is no word from Volkswagen about whether the Golf R Wagon will be sold in the US. Pricing is also yet to be announced, but the first UK owners can expect to take delivery of their cars in early 2015.
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