What is it?
The Volkswagen Golf R cabriolet is the fastest and most powerful drop-top Golf ever. At £38,770 – some £1181 more than the entry-level Porsche Boxster – it is clearly the most expensive, too.
Following on from the launch of the Golf GTi cabriolet last year, Volkswagen has upped the open-top ante even further with the introduction of the Golf R cabriolet.
As its styling suggests, the go-fast soft-top is based around the previous sixth-generation Golf, not the latest seventh-generation model. That’s because the third-generation cabriolet, with its traditional fabric hood and four-seat layout, was only launched in 2011, so it is essentially a two-year-old car even if its appearance suggests otherwise.
Power comes from Volkswagen’s older EA113 engine, not the newer EA888 that both powers the Audi S3 and will also serve the new Golf R later this year.
The transversely mounted turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit runs a maximum 1.2bar of turbo boost pressure and delivers 261bhp and 258lb ft – some 55bhp and 52lb ft more than the Golf GTi cabriolet’s less heavily tuned version of the EA113 engine.
Power is fed through a standard six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox to the front-wheels. The set-up mirrors the Scirocco R, with an electronic differential included to keep wheelspin in check and ensure traction.