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By Mario Cywinski


Volkswagen has released its Golf R variant in Canada. While similar in appearance to the standard Golf, that's where the comparison ends. The Golf R is the performance version of the Golf lineup, which also offers, Golf, Golf Sportwagon, GTI, and the upcoming 2017 AllTrack.

The Golf R offers 4MOTION all-wheel-drive drivetrain (to the Golf and GTI front-wheel-drive). This allows the R to perform well in many situations; whether on a track in Calabogie, Ontario, or in the snow during a Canadian winter when equipped with suitable tires.

“The Golf R takes everything good about the GTI and squares it," said Thomas Tetzlaff, Manager of Media Relations, VW Canada. "With 292 horsepower and 4MOTION all-wheel-drive, the car drives like it’s on rails, and is a true all-weather sports car. Not to be overlooked is the sophisticated cabin, which provides the driver and passengers with all the luxury and comfort they could ask for.”

The R features a 2.0 litre inline-four cylinder turbocharged engine outputting 292 horsepower and 280 foot/pounds of torque mated to a six-speed automatic DSG or manual transmission. Fuel economy numbers are 10.8/7.7 L/100 kilometres (city/highway) for the manual, and 10.4/7.9 L/100km for the automatic. A 55L fuel tank is standard.

The R has unique front and rear bumpers, a rear diffuser, quad exhaust pipes with chrome finish, front grille, side skirts, 19-inch alloy wheels, various styling accents, black brake calipers, and R badging. It comes with bi-xenon headlights with LED DRLs and adaptive front-light system. Dynamic Chassis Control is also standard.

Also included as standard features are App-Connect integration (Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Mirrorlink), 12 way power drivers seat, Bluetooth, dual zone climate control, 6.5-inch touch screen radio with Fender audio system with eight speakers and subwoofer, rearview camera, keyless access with push-button start, heated front seats, multifunction steering wheel, USB and auxiliary input, sport suspension, and leather sport seats.

One option package is available on the R, the technology package adds adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection with cross traffic alert, eight-inch touchscreen entertainment system, front assist, lane assist, and park distance control.

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