Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures

Generations: 9

Body style:

VOLKSWAGEN Golf R   2021 2022
2021 2022

The Golf R reached its fifth generation and all offered sports car performances, with all-wheel-drive traction and aggressive look.
Volkswagen was considered the inventor of the hot-hatch category when it introduced the first generation of the Golf GTI. It was a segment that grew and, soon, other carmakers produced various performance vehicles in the segment. The Golf evolved and offered more and more performances, but they were no longer the kings of the hot-hatches despite their efforts. Honda, Ford, Renault, and Opel/Vauxhall, made a fierce competition. But the Golf R returned to fix that.

A hot-hatch doesn’t have to look just as regular as the rest of the range. While on older models, there were just a few aesthetic differences, the Golf R went all the way. The taller bumper with huge grilles on the lower side and big side-pods made a perfect match for a car that had to look fierce. The new, slim headlights with an upper LED daytime running light strip made the vehicle looks mean. On the sides, there was a new aerodynamic package with side sills and a bigger rear roof-spoiler. In the back, the four exhausts were shown under the bumper, next to the splitter.

Such an aggressive look couldn’t be complete without a race-inspired interior. The sport-bucket seats with integrated headrests for the front passengers were high-bolstered to keep their occupants in place while hard-cornering. The full-digital instrument cluster and the paddle-shifters behind the steering wheel made the car looks business.

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.

Full Description and Technical Specifications
VOLKSWAGEN Golf R Golf VII R  2017 2021
2017 2021

The Volkswagen Golf GTI was the inventor of the hot hatch segment, even though the original GTI only had 115 hp.
Fast-forward to 2017 and we find the Golf R, a true contender in the hot hatch category. 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 is 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 will tell the difference compared to a regular model with options on it. The 19” wheels are standard for the R. Other Golfs with R-Design package don’t have the same light-alloy-wheels. Differences continue on the inside, where nicely bolstered bucket seats are 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 borrowed from Audi’s Virtual Cockpit and it is customizable. The speedometer and tachometer are accompanied by other various information, including the sat-nav system squeezed in the middle on the screen.

On the center console, there is another big screen, this time with gesture controls so the owner won’t have to clean fingerprints every day. It has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.

But what makes the Golf R more special is the mechanical layout. The 300 hp and the all-wheel-drive system makes it a competitor for rally-inspired cars, such as the Subaru STI or the Ford Focus RS.

Full Description and Technical Specifications
VOLKSWAGEN Golf R Golf VII R 5 Doors
VOLKSWAGEN Golf R Golf VII R 5 Doors  2013 2017
2013 2017

The seventh generation (A7) Golf is surely the best one yet, and it has also produced the fastest VW ever made.
The new Golf R 5-door was revealed to the public at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, where it wowed people with one thing above all else: power. The same 2.0 turbo engine used by the Audi S3 has been fitted to this car, resulting in 300 horsepower delivered through a reworked all-wheel drive system. Models equipped with the DSG twin-clutch gearbox will also accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds, an unfathomable figure for a Golf. Volkswagen says that not only is the R more powerful than before, but it’s also 18% more economical.

Full Description and Technical Specifications
VOLKSWAGEN Golf R Golf VII R 3 Doors
VOLKSWAGEN Golf R Golf VII R 3 Doors  2013 2017
2013 2017

$34,000 for a Golf? Well, yes.
And the reason why would be the way the Gold R provided a strong performance, with a very sharp handling.

The Gold VII R provided all-weather traction, along with great comfort for longer journeys.

The interior was built was premium quality materials and it was nicely finished. While comfortable and agile, it also offered great versatility.

The cabin was roomy, offering the passengers great space.

The Golf R was available in a 2-door or a 4-door body shape and a single trim was offered.

The standard features included 18-inch alloys, a sport suspension, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, heated mirrors, LED running lights, cruise control and many other features, enough to conclude that the R was greatly equipped even without any optionals included.

Two packages were available for the trim, the Sunroof and the Navigation package that added keyless ignition and a premium audio system.

The Gold R came with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 5-cylinder engine that produced 256 hp and 243 pound-feet of torque. The sports car came with a standard all-wheel-drive system and a manual transmission.

Safety wise, the Golf R was equipped with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control.

The interior was impeccably finished, with some accents borrowed from Audi. The Golf R came with a standard touchscreen Audi interface and an optional navigation system.

Full Description and Technical Specifications
VOLKSWAGEN Golf R Golf VI R 3 Doors
VOLKSWAGEN Golf R Golf VI R 3 Doors  2009 2013
2009 2013

The VW Golf VI R was presented by the German automaker at the 2009 Frankfurt IAA.
The car will replace the R32 model line and after debating whether Volkswagen should market the car as the Golf R20 or simply Golf R, the latter choice prevailed. In terms of styling, the car retains the Golf VI’s design lines with very few aesthetic touches here and there to set it apart. This is the first VW Golf to have LED rear tail lights, but the most important characteristic of this new model is the tuned 2.0l TSI petrol engine and the revised Haldex 4motion all-wheel drive system.

Full Description and Technical Specifications
VOLKSWAGEN Golf R Golf VI R 5 Doors
VOLKSWAGEN Golf R Golf VI R 5 Doors  2009 2013
2009 2013

Volkswagen came on the market with the R-version for its Golf range one year after it unveiled the sixth generation of its compact hatchback.
The Golf was already a phenomenon, and Volkswagen tried its best to stay ahead of everyone else in the hot-hatch territory. Previously, it had the R32 version, where the number displayed the engine displacement. For the 2009 model, it dropped that and kept only the R.

Walter da Silva designed the sixth Golf generation, and he took care of the R-version look as well. Thus, he installed a taller bumper with a broad grille in the middle and two side-scoops needed to cool the brakes, where he placed the daytime running lights. The new LED headlights came fitted as standard on the R-version. The sills were slightly reshaped from its sides, while in the back, the car featured a splitter under the bumper and a center-mounted dual exhaust. To complete its sporty-look, the designer added a unique roof-spoiler at the top of the tailgate.

Inside, the car went through an upgrade compared with its siblings and received bucket-seats with high bolstering. It was an all-wheel-drive sports car, and the occupants had to be kept in place during hard cornering, at least the front ones. In the back, it was the same bench as the rest of the range. Volkswagen installed a specific steering wheel with a silver badge that sported a blue R letter on the lower spoke for.

Under the hood, the German carmaker installed a highly tuned 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine. It produced 270 hp, 20 more than on its R32 predecessor. It sent the power in all corners via a new all-wheel-drive system via a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic (DSG).

Full Description and Technical Specifications
VOLKSWAGEN Golf R Golf V R32 3 Doors
VOLKSWAGEN Golf R Golf V R32 3 Doors  2005 2008
2005 2008

The R32 is the most powerful version of Volkswagen Golf ever created by the German car manufacturer, being equipped with an engine which develops 250 horsepower.
This means that the 2005 version of the car can reach a maximum speed of 250 km/h, accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in no less than 6.2 seconds if equipped with a dual clutch gearbox. The first R32 model was unveiled at the 2005 edition of the Frankfurt Motor Show while the public launch of the vehicle took place in September. This new Golf has a large series of standard features, starting with Climatronic and anti-theft alarm system and ending with rain sensor, ESP and bi-xenon headlights.

Full Description and Technical Specifications
VOLKSWAGEN Golf R Golf V R32 5 Doors
VOLKSWAGEN Golf R Golf V R32 5 Doors  2005 2008
2005 2008

Volkswagen tried a different approach to the hot-hatch market and introduced the R32 in the fourth generation of the Golf’s lineup in 2002, and did it again on the fifth generation in 2005.
The German carmaker is often credited as the inventor of the hot-hatch segment with the first Golf GTI. But with more and more competitors in that niche-market, it had to come with new ideas. Thus, it came with bigger engines, and the 3.2-liter V-6 seemed to be the answer to all its problems. To make thins harder for its competitors, it installed it on both three- and five-doors Golf’s versions.

Even though the carmaker tried to hide the R32’s true nature, the result was not a subtle car. The car showed its muscles under the appearance of a regular hatchback like a body-builder dressed in a long-sleeved shirt and docker pants. Since the engine was larger, it required more air to cool it, and the engineers installed a new apron with three taller grilles inside. In the rear, the carmaker placed a dual exhaust system mounted under the rear bumper. Its rear doors made the car look more standard, but the 18” light-alloy wheels raised some doubts about that.

Inside, the carmaker considered no need for subtle changes and dropped a pair of sport bucket seats with high bolstering as standard, with cloth upholstery. A leather-clad interior was available as an option. The carmaker installed the same infotainment unit on the center stack as on the rest of the Golf range.

Under the hood was a 3.2-liter V-6 naturally aspirated engine. Volkswagen paired it with a six-speed manual as the only transmission option and sent the power in all corners via an active center differential (Haldex-system).

Full Description and Technical Specifications
VOLKSWAGEN Golf R Golf IV R32  2002 2004
2002 2004

Back in 2002, the German car manufacturer Volkswagen unveiled at the international car show in Madrid the most powerful Golf ever created.
Codenamed R32, the car was equipped with a 3.2 liter V6 engine which provides higher performance than any other vehicle in the Golf series. Since it was so special, it came with multiple exclusive parts, most of them installed in the interior and under the hood. For instance, it had black leather interior with brushed aluminum on pedals and gearstick while the seats where replaced with sports ones which underline, once again, the car’s capability to provide high performance.

Full Description and Technical Specifications

Our Brands