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Volkswagen, you owe us an apology. Last year, when Top Gear drove the new Golf estate, we asked the important question: when’s the version with more poweeerrr coming out?

‘There won’t ever be a performance Golf estate,’ came the reply. But here we are, just one year later, and it’s the Los Angeles debut of the brand new Volkswagen Golf R ‘SportWagen’. A powerful, performance estate.

Deceit aside, it’s quite a thing. Though it’s the first time the ‘R’ badge has been used on a Golf estate, it’s not the first time we’ve seen this powertrain. The R Wagen uses the familiar - and excellent - 296bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot engine seen in the Golf R hatch, with 280lb ft of torque.

Matched to a Haldex 5 permanent all-wheel-drive system and six-speed DSG gearbox, we’re told this Golf R Wagen is able to sprint from 0-50mph in just 3.8 seconds, 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds, and hit a limited top speed of 155mph.

There’s the full gamut of chassis trickery: electronic differential locks, ESC and XDS+ (which brakes the inside wheel), along with dynamic chassis control (three modes), and ‘progressive steering’.

Outside of the frantic helmsmithery, this Golf R Wagen is still a Golf Wagen: it’s got a 605-litre boot that extends to 1620 litres with the seats folded, with all the practical touches the standard estate carries. And because this one’s an ‘R’, you get blue ambient lighting, fabric-Alcantara mix sports seats, ‘R’ badging across the cabin, stainless steel pedals, and sportified dials (well, the needles sweep round when you switch the Golf on).

We’ll get to see it for real at this week’s LA Motor Show. We rather like the Golf R hatch here at TG, but is this more practical R Wagen the one to have?

Mercedes A45 AMG vs VW Golf R

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