25 May 2022

New Volkswagen R - Less is more

Volkswagen Golf R: The new sports hatch from VW provides excellent space for all on board

New Volkswagen R - Less is more

When is enough power enough?

Politics is no help so is it any wonder there isn’t one in the motoring world?

Take the new Golf R with 310hp, 10hp more than before brought about by a new 2.0l turbocharged petrol engine.

Starting at €46,025, it’s comprehensively equipped and you get 4wd, 0-100km/hr in 5.1s and a top speed of 250km/hr. It is blisteringly fast delivering controlled madness that makes you, the driver, feel very assured. It has ability you won’t test unless you have a racetrack and considerable racing driver DNA in you.

It’s the pinnacle of VW performance and the platform where they give you their best shot. It doesn’t disappoint.

There are engine settings that ramp up the power output which I found myself using regularly based on pertaining mood/traffic/road surface factors.

Fuel consumption in a car like this rarely matters – this car is bought for its ability to convert petrol to fast speed and uproarious noise.

It’s everyday livable, easy to drive easy which are qualities not mastered by many. Inside, you get one of the best driver-centric interiors that uses some of the best metals and plastics available, all beautifully and intuitively laid out.

A cleverly disguised performance car in a hatchback shell has enduring appeal and its true potential is only given away by that R badge and the twin, dual exhaust pipes, real ones mind, at the back.

Being a standard hatchback shape it provides excellent space for all passengers and has a 380l boot capacity.

Competitors include the Honda Civic Type R and the Focus RS which are equally brilliant and powerful but the Golf R can be undemanding if you fancy it that is not an option for the others.

Power-hungry leaders’ quest for more is never-ending.

Same for car companies where every extra HP eked from an engine is prized.

But can we truly discern the difference and could “settling” for a normal VW Gti/GTD prove just as rewarding?

A bit like the iPhone. We all want the one with the maximum capacity but do we ever use it and would the smaller one suffice?

The other consideration of an additional €7,055 for the extra 65hp, those 2 extra powered wheels and the “R” badge on the back might sway me to accept this time that sometimes in life, less is more and a “normal” GTi is the wise choice.

David Walshe has been a Motoring Correspondent since 2003. He writes for the ESB newspaper EM and previously wrote for the Meath Echo and Meath Forum. He is the owner of

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