4x4, News

First Impressions of the Mk7 Golf R

Golf R Mk7 - 01

Volkswagen Malaysia has finally unveiled the launch of the Golf R with a website dedicated to share a little bit more information about the car. We knew the launch was imminent and even saw pictures of the car at the local dealers as well. So what is it that makes this car special?

My first impression was the price tag. VW Malaysia has launched the Golf R with two variants, a 3-door variant going for RM245,888 and a 5-door variant for RM285,888. This is just the selling price and not the price of the car on the road yet. What is the key difference between these two variants, aside from the doors?

As a fan of the Mk6 Golf R, I loved the exterior of the car a lot and I haven’t really grown too much to the looks of the Mk7 variant especially how the rear of the car is designed. But what I am a fan of the Mk7 is how the car handles and man, it is intoxicating! I love how it manoeuvres and with the new Golf R version, I can’t wait to test it out.

One thing you would feel different is the moment you put your foot on the pedal and just press it all the way down, you feel the additional surge in power. That is because the new Golf R has 280ps of power over the outgoing model which only had 255ps. Note that here in Malaysia and in Singapore, we get the detuned versions of both the Mk6 Golf R and the Mk7 Golf R.

Another main difference between the two models would be the engine, the old Mk6 Golf R had the EA113 engine which was derived from the Golf GTI MkV and also would be the base engine for several other Audi vehicles but the Mk7 Golf R uses the newer EA888 engine which is the same engine used by the Mk6 Golf GTI. So with 280ps and 380Nm readily available and 4-motion to give you incredible grip through the corners, the Mk7 Golf R is not one to be messed about with.

Golf R Mk7 - 02

Ever since the launch of the Mk7 Golf GTI, Volkswagen Malaysia introduced customers to a new term called “Tech Pack” and with the Mk7 Golf R, the Tech Pack is what differentiates the 3-door and 5-door variant. The 5-door variant comes with the tech pack which sort of tries to justify the additional RM40k premium it has over the 3-door variant. What does it includes:

  • 2-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat
  • Adjustable front centre armrest with rear air vents
  • Auto-dimming interior rear view mirror
  • Automatic headlight activation with ‘Leaving Home’ and manual ‘Coming Home’ function
  • ‘Cadiz’ alloy wheels 8J x 19″, tyres 235/35 R19
  • Cruise control with speed limiter
  • ‘Discover Pro’ navigation system with 8 inch TFT touch screen display, DVD player, 2 SD-card slot, USB, Bluetooth, voice control with 8 speakers
  • Dynamic chassis control DCC with driving profile selection
  • ECO function
  • Electrically adjustable, foldable and heated exterior mirrors with environment lighting and curb view
  • ‘KESSY’ keyless locking and starting system
  • Panoramic tilt/slide sunroof
  • Park pilot (front and rear)
  • Rain sensor
  • ‘Rear Assist’ rear view camera
  • Space saving spare wheel
  • ‘Vienna’ leather seats with ‘R’ logo on backrest

Sitting on the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform and possessing such performance figures, the Golf R is also parsimonious with a fuel consumption of only 6.9l/100km on a combined cycle. Not compromising on safety features, the Golf R is equipped with the Multi-collision Brake System, XDS+ on both front and rear axles, 7 airbags, progressive steering, ABS with 2 stage ESC, and Whiplash-optimised front head restraints, to name just a few.

In true honesty, it seems that the “Tech Pack” seems to be a more luxurious option with additional features given to the Golf R. It is interesting to note that the new Mk 7 Golf R is priced around RM20k more than the outgoing model. A few factors could be due to that such as weakening currency or additional features but I guess I am disappointed that this time, the Mk7 Golf R does not come with the semi bucket seats which the Mk6 Golf R had.

Now if it were me (being the track junkie I have grown to be), I would personally get the 3-door Mk7 Golf R and set it up nicely for the track. Why this variant? Because without those additional items, I would assume that the car is already lighter, especially the sunroof, that is quite heavy indeed.