Well, that’s rather interesting. Volkswagen South Africa has quietly upgraded its local-spec Golf R to the full-fat 228 kW output originally offered in most other markets.
When the refreshed version of the all-wheel-drive hot hatch launched in South Africa back in July 2017 (purely in seven-speed DSG guise thanks to a lack of demand for a manual version), its familiar turbocharged 2,0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine offered 213 kW, detuned from the global 228 kW output as the country was ostensibly classed as a “hot climate” market.
But earlier this week the local arm of the Wolfsburg-based firm updated the information on its website, listing the Golf R’s peak power as 228 kW between 5 400 and 6 500 r/min (before promptly changing it back again … but not before we took the screenshot below). Interestingly, however, peak torque was still shown as 380 N.m (other markets receive 400 N.m) offered between 1 850 and 3 300 r/min. Claimed combined fuel consumption, too, was unchanged at 6,9 L/100 km (although the international model drinks at a claimed 7,2 L/100 km).
While the 213 kW version was priced at R667 700 before the change, this upgraded 228 kW model was briefly listed at R679 900 (an increase of R12 200, if you’re averse to maths).
While the Golf R seems to have (temporarily, at the time of writing, at least) disappeared from VW SA’s online configurator, another section of the website (which has also since been changed) suggested it had gained a new “Performance” titanium exhaust system and uprated “Performance” brakes (with callipers painted black, bearing the “R” logo). Whether this will actually be the case remains to be seen.
Ultimately, the upgrade means the Golf R can finally match the power output of its slightly posher cousin, the Audi S3 Sportback. Expect official confirmation from VW SA in the coming weeks…