Volkswagen will post details of the new Golf R wagon on its New Zealand website in the next few weeks to get some idea of demand before the car arrives here early next year. The company’s marketing division has confirmed that the all-wheel-drive wagon will go on sale between January and March and sit alongside the Golf R hatchback. Volkswagen NZ general manager Tom Ruddenklau said in October last year that he was looking at the wagon but was concerned global demand would limit availability. However, VW’s marketing people aren’t forecasting supply difficulties for NZ. Both Golf R variants are VW’s fastest production models. They share and share alike – the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, six-speed dual-clutch automatic or six-speed manual gearbox, 4Motion four-paw system, adaptive shock absorbers, oversized brakes and quad exhausts. The engine delivers 221kW between 5500-6200rpm and 380Nm between 1800-5500rpm, but the wagon’s extra 74kg will blunt its 0-100km/h time by about three-tenths of a second, or 5.2sec compared with the hatchback’s 4.9sec. The mild tradeoff in the sprint time has its advantages – the wagon comes with 605 litres of luggage space, or a significant 262 litres more than the hatchback. No word on price yet but the wagon is expected to be between $2000-$3000 more than the hatchback, which retails at $68,500 for the manual and $70,990 for the auto. What won’t be available in the NZ stable is the Golf R-based race car developed for the international TouringCar Racer
series (TCR). It has been built to help VW evaluate a potential customer racing programme for the next year’s TCR events. VW motorsport director Jost Capito said the TCR category provides a promising platform for private racing teams and allowed VW to use all its
resources. “This reduces both development time and costs,” he said. “We will use the rest of this season to test the car under competitive conditions.” The first TCR event of 2015 was in Malaysia in March, where it was a lead-up to the Formula One race. Another Formula One support race followed in Shanghai in April. The next TCR event is in Singapore next month. The racing Golf runs on 18-inch rims and its chassis is roughly 400mm wider than the Golf R. Other modifications include a front splitter and carbon-fibre rear wing. The car’s 2.0-litre engine comes from the Golf R but has been reworked to develop 243kW/410Nm.