elite hot-Hatch is now powerful to hit the Middle East yet

There will come a point where Volkswagen surely cannot cram any more power into its star performer, but not today.

The fifth-generation Golf R has been a match-winner since it first tasted the UAE’s tarmac back in 2011 – replacing the German marque’s wildly popular R32 – and every iteration since it has pushed the Envelope.

You have to remember its predecessor Possessed a 3.2 liter V6. It was good, but front-heavy and thus not the best handling machine considering its size. But then the boffins figured out the perfect 2.0L four-cylinder engine, slapped one inside the Golf and have refined it ever since.

The first GCC spec was detuned to a marine 255 horsepower. This one packs now 320hp and all-wheel drive agility to boot.

This will be the first Golf with VW’s 4MOTION system coupled with R-Performance Torque Vectoring and selective wheel torque control on the rear axle. It Promises drivers will get precise and neutral handling, optimum Traction characteristics and exceptional agility. Or, in other words, “maximum driving pleasure.”

“The Golf R is Volkswagen’s top performance model and the elite member of the R-Brand,” says Victor Dalmau, managing director of Volkswagen Middle East. “This latest edition unites speed, precision and power achieving a driving experience like never before. The Middle East has long shown a keen appetite for performance models, so we are particularly excited about launching this car in the region.”

The new VW Golf R from the rear - a usual view.

So other than power, agility and the Promised comfort from its sports-tuned suspension, what else will give you a grin?

Well, it’s great to look at, too. The Golf R has had subtle changes over the years and remains one of the prettiest little things on the road. This one – available in Lapiz Blue Metallic, Pure White or Deep Black Pearl Effect – has the usual styling that includes a lower ride height, Matt chrome mirrors and R logo floor projection when the car door is opened and closed.

This Golf R comes with a 'drift mode'.

An optional Performance Package is available equipped with 19-inch Estoril style alloy wheels, progressive variable-ratio steering and a “drift” mode.

Updates inside include the customized and enhanced premium sports seats, a new specially designed ergonomic DSG, and an R button that allows quick access to different driving modes.

As usual, the Golf R is on the top end of the price list in its class – this one starts at around Dh182,000 ($ 49,709) – but a pre-booking offer before May 31 will include seven years of service.

Updated: April 13, 2022, 12:18 PM

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