‘The Golf R was born on the track,’ according to Volkswagen, and we believe it. The 4MOTION all-wheel drive detects a wheel slipping and directs more torque to the wheels that have traction to improve handling. The Cross Differential System (XDS) directs power to outside wheels when cornering, which contributes to the car’s performance handling characteristics.
When you mate the additional power and traction to the optional 7-speed automatic DSG transmission with Tiptronic (in contrast to GTI’s optional 6-speed DSG automatic transmission with Tiptronic), you bring the 0-100 km/h times down from just over 6 seconds in the GTI to under 5 seconds in the Golf R. Both cars are available with 6-speed manual transmissions, which deliver slower acceleration. Assisting with the traction on those sprints to 100 km/h are P225/40HR 18s on the GTI and P235/35YR 19s on the Golf R. The in-car experience during those acceleration runs is so much more visceral (and fun) in the Golf R.