Want a Volkswagen Golf R with space for more golf clubs, or other gear? Customers in Europe will soon have that option, with Volkswagen having revealed its latest-generation Golf R Variant, but sadly the new model will remain a dream for South African wagon enthusiasts, whose purchasing numbers are apparently not sufficient to justify local introduction.
As you’d expect, the Golf R Variant is mechanically identical to its hatch sibling, powered by an upgraded EA888 2-litre turbopetrol motor that produces 235 kW and 420 N.m. The wagon’s extra bulk does steal two tenths of a second from the 0-100 km/h acceleration time, although the Variant’s claimed 4,9 second run is certainly impressive. The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h, or 270 km/h for cars fitted with the R Performance package.
Those opting for the latter will also get to enjoy a Drift Mode as well as a special setting that was fine-tuned on the Nürburgring. Of course, power goes to all four wheels through a 4Motion all-wheel drive system with R Performance torque vectoring that offers selective wheel torque control on the rear axle. XDS electronic differential locks and DCC adaptive chassis control are also part of the deal here, and for the record, the Golf R rides 20 mm lower than regular Golfs.
Being an estate car you’ll expect supreme practicality, and here the Golf R Variant shines with its luggage volume of 611 litres, expanding to 1 642 litres if loaded up to the roof with the back seats folded. The cabin still looks the Golf R part, thanks to sports seats with integrated headrests and R logos, as well as the R-specific Digital Cockpit Pro, which includes a lap timer.
But if you were given the option, would you choose the Golf R variant over the SA-bound hatch model?