New(ish) VW Golf R for 2017: fast Golf gets a facelift | CAR Magazine

New(ish) VW Golf R for 2017: fast Golf gets a facelift

Published: 03 January 2017 Updated: 03 January 2017

Golf R hot hatch gets 2017 facelift 
10bhp/15lb ft boost in power/torque
Hatch and estate both get the same update

Volkswagen’s Golf range as whole has been spruced up with a subtle facelift and a collection of updates for 2017, and now the flagship R variant is following suit.

The all-wheel-drive R hot hatch is the most powerful Golf available, and now all the more so courtesy of a 10bhp power hike.


New headlights, bumpers, self-driving assistance in traffic jams and gesture control for the infotainment system all feature in the 2017 update for the Golf range as a whole – click here for seven things you need to know about the Golf Mk7.1.

The engine, still a variation of the same EA888 unit found in the Golf GTI (and Audi TT/S1/S3 and Seat Leon Cupra) has been given a 10bhp power hike, to a 306bhp total.

That puts the Golf R back as top dog in the VW Group hot hatch family above the 296bhp Seat Leon Cupra 300, and on a par with the limited-edition Golf GTI Clubsport S.

VW Golf R 2017 hatchback

How much faster is the 2017 VW Golf R?

It’s a couple of tenths quicker to 62mph, at 4.6sec, thanks in part to a 15lb ft increase in torque – bringing the engine’s output to a total of 295lb ft.

A top speed hasn’t been quoted yet, but it will almost certainly be subject to a 155mph electronic limiter. The only modern VW to have its limiter removed is the limited-run Golf Clubsport S mentioned earlier, to help it achieve its record Nurburgring laptime.

The 2017 VW Golf R gets a seven-speed DSG gearbox in place of the previous six, primarily with the aim of improving fuel economy and emissions. A six-speed manual is still available.

UK prices are TBC; expect a modest increase over the current hatch and estate variants’ respective £28,435 (for the 3dr) and £34,455 price tags when it arrives on these shores after April 2017.

Read CAR’s review of the VW Golf R Estate here, and CAR’s long-term VW Golf R hatch test diary here.

VW Golf R 2017 Estate

By James Taylor

Former features editor for CAR, occasional racer