Volkswagen Golf R 2021 test: fun and safe in the cold

I love it when, when picking up a test car, an interesting discussion immediately arises in the newsroom. In this case, we wonder if we would stick with the brand new Volkswagen Golf R, with 320 hp and 4MOTION all-wheel drive, or with the Golf GTI Clubsport, with 300 hp, front-wheel drive and the electromechanical VAQ differential.

Yes, this is like preferring mom or dad, but you had to ‘get wet’ in the dilemma. In my case, that I live in an area with low temperatures and I usually go through cold roads, I would choose the R, since the two driving axles are always a plus during several months of the year. “Oh yeah?” My classmates told me after answering. “Well, you’ll be the one to try it.”

Obviously, it seemed like an irrefutable proposal, although later I would confess that, from April to October, I would stay with the GTI Clubsport and from November to March, with the R. For dreaming that it does not stay!

Like the T-Roc R (video test), the exterior of the most exclusive Golf oozes sportiness on all four sides, but forgoing any stridency. It can even go more unnoticed than it seems in the eyes of the uninformed.

Volkswagen Golf R 2021 test
Volkswagen Golf R 2021 test
Volkswagen Golf R 2021 test

However, as you can see in the photo gallery, the ‘racing’ components are very present: sports bumpers, 19-inch Estoril alloy wheels (optional), blue brake calipers, rear spoiler, diffuser marking, wheel covers. the mirrors in matt gray …

But without a doubt, at this point the palm goes to the sports exhaust system of the specialist Akrapovic, made of titanium and with adjustable sound. It’s true, it costs no less than 4,060 euros, but the backfire in rapid downshifts will be pure melody to your ears. Without it, it seems that the car is not completely complete.

Volkswagen Golf R 2021 test
Volkswagen Golf R 2021 test

The interior is also sufficiently personalized with a specific steering wheel and optional leather seats (3,090 euros), with integrated headrests, equipped with heating and ventilation, and also with the driver’s memory function. They hold well and are by no means a torture for the day to day. By the way, the speedometer indicates up to 320 km / h.

As in any other Golf, almost everything goes through the central screen and we have to get used to it for a period of time. There are at least four conventional buttons for direct access to climate control, driving programs, assistants (I switch off lane keeping when I start off) and parking aid. There is no central roulette wheel to activate the desired command more easily.

Volkswagen Golf R 2021 test
Volkswagen Golf R 2021 test
Volkswagen Golf R 2021 test

To facilitate the vehicle configuration, we have the R control on the steering wheel, which allows you to choose the desired driving mode and, of course, the minimalist lever of the seven-speed DSG double-clutch automatic transmission is maintained, which does not I see more advantages than creating a more avant-garde environment.

As the canons dictate, the digital instrumentation of the Volkswagen Golf R 2021 can show information of clear sports tints, such as the oil temperature or the G-forces that are generated, but I prefer the distribution of the torque between the four wheels . Undoubtedly, in curves it is addictive to take a look at that variable distribution, ideal for closing lines and rounding the trajectory.

Volkswagen Golf R 2021 test
Volkswagen Golf R 2021 test

Not surprisingly, the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system has been improved in this installment of the Golf R, by adopting a self-locking or sports rear differential, capable of varying the distribution of force between the rear wheels, which can command up to 100% to just one if necessary.

This technology comes standard, although you have to pay 925 euros if you want the adaptive DCC suspension, with more than a dozen configurations, although it is true that noticing the difference between two close ones is a mission for professional pilots, because I was not able to .

Volkswagen Golf R 2021 test
Volkswagen Golf R 2021 test

The interesting R Performance package, which presents two extra driving programs, is also a surcharge of 2,415 euros: Drift, which facilitates skidding, and Special, especially suitable for the Nürburgring Nordschleife. This pack also includes progressive or variable gear steering, the Estoril tires mentioned above and the increase in maximum speed to 270 km / h.

The driving modes that come from the factory are Comfort, Sport, Race and Individual. The latter allows you to customize various parameters, from the stiffness of the suspension, through the response to the throttle, the assistance of the steering and the speed of the transmission, to the sound of the exhaust.

Volkswagen Golf R 2021 test
Volkswagen Golf R 2021 test

Last but not least, it should be remembered that the gasoline engine is still the ‘ubiquitous’ 2.0 TSI that for this delivery reaches 320 hp and 420 Nm. As it does not have electrical support, it carries the DGT label C. The only transmission available is the dual-clutch DSG, with Sport mode (I love that it doesn’t drop the revs below 2,000 laps) and manual-sequential paddle-shift operation.

It will not be a big surprise for you to read that the Volkswagen Golf R 2021 is a true ‘cannon’, but even waiting for it, it never ceases to amaze you how it gains speed and in how little space this car allows you to overtake. As shown is the official acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h, estimated in just 4.7 seconds … and that the ‘angel’ is not a featherweight precisely, since it declares 1,475 kilos empty.

Volkswagen Golf R 2021 test

Of course, if we put ourselves in ‘peaceful’ mode and travel at normal rates, this compact sports car also has ecological solutions, such as sailing. In fact, the official average consumption is 7.8 liters per 100 kilometers and we mark 8.9 liters in a standard interurban displacement. Sure, if you open the ‘thunder box’, the two digits will appear immediately.

Compared to other rivals with a more extreme set-up, the Volkswagen Golf R 2021 does not present a conception in which comfort is totally left out. To give you an idea, with the firmer configuration of the DCC suspension you will not end up very fatigued going on good roads, no matter how many kilometers you do.

This ‘rational’ firmness leads us to a fun and effective behavior, but also to a versatile use. This compact sports car is not only designed to ‘curve’, but also to move with it for several hours. There are more exciting rivals for dynamic feel, although they are less ‘usable’, if you allow the expression.

What would I get from this car? First, with his speed, but above all, with his motor skills. What a pleasure it is to put your foot to the board at the exit of slow curves and see how this car goes off without running out of control or presenting jerks in the direction, following the trajectory that you set, even on somewhat wet roads. The fact of being immovable gives you a confidence and security that are worth their weight in gold.

By the way, if the 374 liters of luggage space are fair, you should know that the Golf R is also available with the Variant family body. If we go back to the beginning and compare the prices of the R and the GTI Clubsport, it appears that the first is 5,440 euros more expensive (54,730 euros compared to 49,290), without counting the optional components that we have indicated.

Perhaps the Clubsport generates a purer driving, I do not deny it, but the R should be your choice if you frequent cold areas with low grip. We’d love to hear from you on our social media profiles.

We would love to give thanks to the author of this write-up for this outstanding web content

Volkswagen Golf R 2021 test: fun and safe in the cold

Decode The News Podcast