Australia’s insatiable appetite for go-faster cars has sparked the creation of a special Volkswagen Golf R for down-under drivers.
It’s being pitched as the ultimate pocket rocket, two steps up from the Golf GTI and one above the regular Golf R.
Priced at $61,990, the Golf R Special Edition crackles with a titanium exhaust system from Akrapovic, bigger and better brakes, special 19-inch alloy wheels and a premium 400-watt exhaust system.
Only 400 cars are coming to Australia, around November, and Volkswagen Australia is expecting a similar sell-out result to previous-generation specials on the GTI platform.
“We tailored a package of pieces specifically for Australia,” Todd Ford, product manager at Volkswagen Australia, tells Australian Business Traveller.
“This is the first time we’ve used R Performance parts, which are normally only for Europe. We worked with the factory to get it right, then negotiated on the price.”
Picking the Special Edition package adds $5,000 to the Golf R bill, but Ford says it’s a relative bargain. “The exhaust alone would probably cost $5,000,” he says.
The exhaust, wheels and brakes also trim around 15 kilograms from the car’s weight, for a slight performance edge.
Confirmation of the Special Edition comes as Volkswagen locks in the latest development of the Golf R package for 2019, priced from $56,490 or $58,490 as a wagon. They come with 213 kilowatts of turbo power, all-wheel drive and a 7-speed DSG gearbox, but the big boost is added safety from radar cruise control and a blind-spot monitor.
“Right now, 20 per cent of all Golfs are Performance models, either the GTI or Golf R,” says company spokesman, Paul Pottinger.