VOLKSWAGEN Golf R Variant
Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
While the Golf R was designed for those who enjoyed driving and didn’t need a large trunk in the back, the Golf R Variant came as an important addition for those who needed a station wagon.
A family with kids needs a car with a big trunk where the bicycles, scooters, and other toddler-related items need to be stored. On the other hand, nobody said station wagons can’t have powerful engines. And Volkswagen decided to give an important boost to its already known Golf Variant in the form of the R version.
The 2021 Golf R Variant shared most of its bodywork with the Golf R up to the B-pillar, but it featured different C-pillars and rear doors. An additional glass area covered the space between the C- and the D-pillar. The carmaker sacrificed some part of the trunk space for this Golf generation and raked-forward the tailgate for a sportier look. Volkswagen even installed a roof spoiler on the upper side of the rear windscreen. Under the bumper, the carmaker installed four oval exhausts, similar to those from the Golf R hatchback.
Lile its Golf R sibling, the R Variant featured a sporty interior with high-bolstered front seats. Its full-digital instrument cluster and the paddle-shifters behind the wheel were just a confirmation that it wasn’t just a regular grocery-getter. But, since it was a station wagon, it offered a split-folding rear bench which provided between 611 liters (21.6 cu-ft) and 1,642 liters (58 cu-ft) of trunk space.
For the drivetrain, Volkswagen installed a turbocharged inline-four gasoline engine. It was paired to either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG (dual-clutch) automatic transmission. Power went to all corners via a newly developed all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring.
The Volkswagen Golf GTI was the hot hatch segment’s inventor, even though the original GTI only had 115 hp.
Fast-forward to 2017 and we find the Golf R Variant, a true sleeper in the compact-segment. While the first-ever Golf R had a naturally aspirated 3.2-liter V6 engine, the 2017 R has a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline unit with almost 300 hp under the hood. It was mated either with a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG (dual-clutch).
From the outside, only the front bumper and the twin-dual exhaust could tell the difference compared to a regular model with options on it. The 19” light-alloy wheels were standard for the R. Other Golfs with the R-Design package didn’t have them. The station wagon was more subtle than its hatchback brother, since it looked like a family vehicle used for weekend shopping at IKEA. The differences with other Golf versions continued inside, where nicely bolstered bucket seats were holding the front occupants while cornering.
The leather and fabric combination seats are nice to view as well, and the R-logo embodied on the seatback is visible. The dashboard has a TFT screen carried-over from Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, and it was customizable. The speedometer and tachometer are accompanied by other various information, including the sat-nav system squeezed in the middle on the screen. Like any other decent station-wagon, it featured a split-folding rear seat seatback.
But what makes the Golf R more special is the mechanical layout. The 300 hp and the all-wheel-drive system made it a competitor for other rally-inspired cars, such as the Subaru STI, which was offered as a station-wagon as well.
Starting 2015, the most iconic performance four-wheel drive compact, the Golf R, can be had in a wagon shape to provide more versatility than ever; 605 liters of luggage space, to be exact, if you load it up to the rear seat backrest.
From the front bumper to the B-pillars, it’s the same as the standard Golf, but then you get modified rear door frames with the extra rear windows to offer greater visibility. The interior is pretty much the same, with the addition of illuminated door sills, Alcantara sport seats and the exclusive Driving Profile Selector which enables the car to go fully berserk in Race Mode and unleash all its 300 HP.