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£32,650 when new
Golf R. That’s one you’ve always loved. And now it’s renewed? Refreshed rather than renewed. Which is just fine by us because we don’t have any argument with what’s gone before. So what have they done? Very little mechanically. In fact, just one change – the engine rises to 310bhp. That gains it loads of TopGear kudos, since this is the exact same motor fitted to the limited-edition Golf GTI Clubsport S. The machine pedalled by Sabine on telly to overtake a £million on a lap of the Nordschleife. Sure the Clubsport S did without the back seat and the AWD of the R, so it was lighter. (Except in that instance the weight cut was offset by the profusely terrified mass of our Rory.) Anyway, we digress. Today’s R mates its 310bhp to an unaltered mechanical remainder: sports suspension with or without adaptive dampers, 4WD, system, manual or DSG box. Our tester was a manual with passive chassis. Except passive is the wrong word, as we’ll see.