Billed the 'Ultimate Golf' and given more power, but can this facelifted Volkswagen Golf R knock the imperious Ford Focus RS from its perch?
Volkswagen Golf R Performance Pack 2018 UK review
Track-friendly extras for VW's superheated hatchback, but it's the uprated exhaust that gives the Golf R the soundtrack to complement its pace
Volkswagen Golf R 2017 review
A facelift for the fantastically capable all-rounder delivers more power and new tech to the cabin, improving on an already exceptional formula
The Volkswagen Golf R is already one of our favourite superheated hatchbacks here at Autocar towers. Not only is it an immensely talented and supremely entertaining steer, it"s also properly usable on an everyday basis in a way that the likes of the Ford Focus RS and FK2 Honda Civic Type R can’t quite manage.
Now, though, Wolfsburg has made its fastest hot hatchback even zestier with the introduction of the Performance Pack. While the Golf R’s already potent turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine doesn’t gain any additional power — remaining at 306bhp at 5500-6500rpm and 280lb ft at 2000-5400rpm — it has been derestricted so that it can now hit a top speed of 166mph.
Uprated R-Performance brakes are also included — these save two kilograms compared with the regular brakes — while a set of larger 19in ‘Spielberg’ alloy wheels replace the standard car’s 18in ones. A new rear spoiler makes an appearance, too.
And the price attached to this new Performance Pack? That’ll be £2,300, thank you very much. It’s worth noting, too, that it can only be specified on DSG-equipped Golf Rs, which cost from £34,255 in three-door guise. So you’re looking at an asking price of at least £36,555.